Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Year's Resolution extremely late or slightly early

Carrie and I used to have this New Year's Day tradition wherein she would write 10 New Year's resolutions, and then ask me to write 10 New Year's resolutions. This was followed by the traditional grumpy look on my face, and the traditional mini-tantrum of me never being able to think of more than six or seven things to resolve to, which resolve would be broken by Jan. 23 anyway. The longer this tradition this went on, the easier it actually became, since I would be able to recycle the 10 resolutions from the year before that I hadn't been able to keep for more than 22 days.

These days, I don't give much truck to making New Year's resolutions. However, I will occasionally grumble that if someone wants to make resolutions, why even bother doing than on a date prescribed by the man, you dig? Then I will grumble a little bit more, and still not make resolutions, unless I am resolved to grumble, which is not out of the realm of possibility.

But today, I made a resolution, call it early, late, or right on time. Or more likely, ready to be kicked to the curb by the time I hit publish.

I, Adam Robert Swift, being of relatively sound mind and only moderately creaky body, resolve to spend at least one waking hour per day free of all electronic devices, computers, tablets, phones, and televisions.

Technology is great, technology is wonderful. And I do keep a healthy dose of anachronism in my life. I love my record player. I love my books. I've dumped two kindles on craigslist, and only partly because I've needed the money. I love the physicality of an actual book in my hands. I love to see a slab of vinyl spinning on my stereo. My decorative motif is basically books and records everywhere, and I love it.

But still, I have found that when I do escape into a book, there are still those screens tugging at the outer edge of consciousness. Finish a chapter. Check my smartphone for email or facebook updates. Flip the record over, check the latest articles on the Onion. Eventually, I would be checking the updates every page or two, surfing on the computer and barely remembering what I was listening to.

So today, I piled up all the pluggy in things in one room that I was not going to be in for the next hour, grabbed a book, hid the remote controls, and truly got lost in my book for a solid hour. No pictures of cats. No email alerts from congressional aides about how the co-sponsored a bill to make Russett potatoes the official state potato. And it was good. And I remembered that this was kind of how it used to be, a quiet place alone without 18 kinds of stimulus to scramble my brain.

This is my November 12 resolution. It is only one. And who knows how it will look on November 13. But I'll give it a shot and try not to grumble about it too much.


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5:59 AM  

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