Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. ~ Tim Kreider
I escaped the mid-west mucky cold where the hell is spring weather to the land of eternal warmth and coastal bliss. My sister lives in Encinitas, California, one of the best beach towns I’ve ever been. Each time I visit, it gets better. When I embarked on this two-week trip my head was full of things I wanted to do and see and figure out but something else happened.
I woke up fully refreshed at 6AM my first day there, I decide to go to the beach to take photos. It took a few hours for it to transition from a quiet dark gray fog to the sunny happy bustle that never got too busy (the summers are a different story). For hours I was divinely lost in that place of no time … treasure hunting for shells and rocks and seaweed shapes. I watched the few surfers and runners enjoy their self-imposed morning sermon and decided to commit to one of my own for the whole trip.
I’m not a morning person and on previous trips to the beach I have always slipped into the vacation mode of sleeping in and staying up late. This trip was so different and so replenishing. I actually wanted to get up early and thanks to the limited ‘good light’ to take photos, I was highly motivated to get out the door ASAP.
My old habit after taking a batch of so excited to share shots was to upload photos, edit a bit, share what I found and excitedly wait for you to say things like … “Ohh how beautiful!” ”What is that?” ”More please” etc. And maybe I’ll never get tired of this cyclical encouragement and approval that inspires, motivates and sucks me into to the magical and addictive cyber space world. But something shifted on this trip that was organic and exciting.
I took a digital break, not because I told myself to, not because I wanted to, it just happened.
I love my iPhone and my laptop. Social media has been a savior for me having moved away from friends twice in my forties. I assumed when I first moved that it would be easy to find new friends, it was a piece of cake when I moved a few times in my twenties, little did I realize how different it would be when most of my peers had families, full schedules, and not enough time for their existing friends. The computer became my friend and it still is but thanks to two weeks away from my laptop, I think I’m ready to reshape my relationship with all of my friends including my computer.
I’m not sure how this will play out and I’m not too worried about it. I’ll let things unfold, I’ll take on new habits and revert to some old ones that I know are not good from me but that’s okay too. After two blessed weeks with family and time to roam the beaches and trails without any agenda, I feel like a brand new person. When I got home yesterday and was sitting with my sweetie pie having lunch, he said … “you’re like a blank sheet of paper”.
I’ve never posted only words on my blog, visual expression is so much easier from me than verbal, plus I have 100′s of photos that I’m jonesing to share but this clean slate feels appropriate today. Feel free to fill it in with nothing at all or visions of beauty.
P.S. I missed you.
P.S.S. If you’d like to read a great article called The ‘Busy’ Trap where I found the above quote click here. ( Thanks for sharing Amy.)
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