It’s been a while now since I made the big change. So far, I have few regrets.
I used to post several times a week on this blog, somewhat less on my church blog, and many, many times on our discussion board. I spent lots of time on the internet when I wasn’t actually doing my job of installing windshields.
What changed? I no longer have a computer at home. I only have real and reasonable internet access at work now.
My old laptop had a broken power jack, which caused the power cord to fall out at the most inconvenient times; the battery was virtually non-existent; and there were cracks in the case, and some of the keys were falling out. I told my son to go ahead and find me a new computer, so he did. One day he brought me a beautiful, slightly used Dell laptop, and I was going to pay him $350 out of our recently received income tax refund. We got back considerably more money this year than we had expected, and I figured it wouldn’t be a problem for me to use a little bit of it for this purpose.
WRONG! When my wife learned that I was getting the new laptop, she blew up. I had been unaware of her feelings, but she had been so happy that my computer was falling apart, because I had been spending too much time on it and not enough time with her and doing things I needed to do. And she had figured that when my computer was shot, then life would be good again. I would spend my time with her and getting things done around the house and other things we needed to do.
When I saw how upset she was that I was getting this “new” laptop, I decided there are more important things in my life than computers and the internet. I had my son take back the new computer as well as keeping the old laptop, and I went basically cold turkey at home — no computer at home, and only my limited access at work.
Now that it’s been a couple months, I can honestly say I have few regrets. Sure, there are times at home when I want to check something out or look something up on the internet, but usually it can wait until I get back on the shop computers. I’m not held up from doing something we want or need to do because I’m busy on the computer. But I’m now realizing another benefit: I no longer am stressed by thinking all the time how I should write about something. I never realized I was doing that, but I was. I was constantly thinking, trying to come up with new subjects, and I was getting fairly good at coming up with new subjects on the spur of the moment. Now I don’t worry so much about that. I have plenty of time to ruminate about things, because I can’t write about them until I get the opportunity here at work anyway.
I’ve had to prioritize a little more carefully, too. Check the e-mail, do anything my wife asks me to do on the computer, check out the discussion board, and only then do I get into my blogs and other stuff I’m interested in doing.
At this point I’m generally satisfied with the situation. Would I get another laptop for home use if my wife said it’s OK? Maybe. I’d really like to be able to do stuff at home, but I don’t know if I could refrain from getting too involved again. So for the time being I’m fine with things the way they are.