Now that I’ve discussed the technology I have come to appreciate, here’s the other side of the coin – the things I really don’t miss. The things I would like to change the way I approach when I am back in the ‘real world.’
Technology I need much less of:
1. El televisor – TV. Don’t miss it whatsoever. I have lived for periods of time before without TV and I never miss not having it but I find it totally impossible to avoid watching it if I do have one. So I’m not going to have one from now on. Maybe a TV to play movies but no cable. Not necessary.2. Electricity. Nothing screws up an internal clock like electricity. Once my body settled into the natural rhythm of getting up and going to sleep with the sun, other things began to fall into place – I get hungry during the day and eat very light at night (which is great for sleeping), I am getting plentiful amounts of sleep but I never sleep past 8 o’clock in the morning and, thus, generally have productive working days, I spend a lot of my free time reading, writing, and thinking, rather than doing the plethora of things I would be with electricity.
Mike and I have done some travels, though, and whenever we spend a night in a hotel our lives change immediately. Without thinking, we plug away on our computer and watch tv and it somehow gets to be midnight or one am before we know it – which means we sleep later the next day. It just happens so fast (especially because we are so removed from this stuff – it is extra fun and seems like such a luxury). Basically, I would like to spend more time ‘unplugged,’ something I have always said but never really understood what that meant. That means sometimes not turning on the lights, or keeping them very low, to feel the natural rhythm of the day. Totally hippie speak, I’m aware. What can I say. I’m officially a dirty hippie.
3. Other web 2.0 tools – namely, Twitter, hundreds of pointless blogs, and facebook the way I used to know it. While some things are useful, a lot of the everyday stuff I was doing on the internet before I left seems utterly pointless. I checked Twitter everyday out of boredom from work but I think that is over forever. As are the millions of pop culture and current event blogs I read. They all just repeat the same things. Limited access to the internet has made me realize which ones are really good, concise, and well-written, and which ones are just crap.
And again, it’s just about doing this stuff less, leaving more time for other, more fulfilling activities (like gardening! I can’t wait to start growing some of my own food in New England. I really have to write a blog post about this, seeing at it is the most major thing we do here and I haven’t talked about it at all, but eventually I’ll get there). Computers/the internet is great but only when truly in balance with other things. I was out of balance before I left and I am somewhat out of balance here but in the opposite direction, but I got a lot of anti-screen time to make up so yeah. I am excited to incorporate elements of my time here into my regular life at home and see how that changes things for me. Mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.
4. Mirrors. Oof. There are no mirrors on the land (to one of my friends from home this was legit the craziest thing about coming here, haha. No mirrors!) and it is AWESOME! Somehow I am able to tell when my hair is out of control and fix it, all without mirrors. And I spent wayyyy less time staring at myself, examining my pores, thinking about how I would be prettier if only my hair was better, my skin was less oily, my nose was smaller, etc. etc. etc. Everyone does this, I don’t think people can help it. But without mirrors, I just don’t worry about it, it’s kind of amazing. Every once in awhile we encounter one and I look at myself, amazed at how much more tan I am or how long my hair is gotten. But I never think “ugh, I am having such a bad hair day” or any of those negative things one inevitably thinks at least once a day if you are staring at yourself brushing your teeth, washing your hands, etc., several times a day. It has totally altered my mindset and made me realize just how much self-hating dialogue I had going. My body is treating me very well here- working hard, developing muscles, keeping me healthy- that is so beautiful!
This entry is somewhat painful to read in its entirety (I wrote it in small chunks). I am such a hippie. This (and all of my writing) is really just a way for me to process and reflect upon the lifestyle changes I have encountered here, and what I like and don’t like about the differences. I certainly hope that it isn’t preachy. I would hate for people to read into it more, thinking that I was suggesting these changes for everyone. Not at all. It’s just that I’ve never lived in this manner before, ever and I am having some big realizations about what truly makes me happy (and unhappy). This blog is as much for me to force myself to write in a coherent manner (sometimes my personal journal doesn’t contain full sentences and so the meaning is lost over the years) as much as it is to share with family and friends. And I love you all, internet family and friends.