There is a cycle that takes place in a brain like mine. In an upswing, things can be thrown at me from a variety of directions. During such an upswing, I’ll nonchalantly grab seemingly impossible things, in an impressive catch a la wayward cricket or baseball that lands in the terraces/bleachers. Downswing? I catch nothing. I catch sad that floats around malls and supermarkets. I catch hopeless. I catch tired. I catch self-doubt and loathing. I catch a lot of chocolate and cake in my mouth and then my butte catches some inches.
There are people who understand. There are people who do not. Neither is right, neither is wrong.
One thing I have gotten to be very good at lately, is asking for help.
So I’ve got a professional mentor who I find inspiring, interesting, feisty and fabulous. And I am working on arranging a life-coach and some counseling. I’ve also got an army of friends who know me well and Love me and are not afraid to give me a swift kick in the pants from time to time. I’ve also, it turns out, got an army of people who are fighting similar battles to mine. I have had a landslide of the same advice from people who know me well, and people who only know me online or of me through circles we share. The message is the same:
You’ll be okay.
And, I think, okay is on the way.
So one thing that happened last week is losing my phone.
Three days without it.
I wasn’t as put out by this as I thought I might be. I am terrible at returning calls and keeping in touch at the best of times, so this was more of a welcome break than a huge inconvenience. There are a few VERY important messages I have yet to return (Leigh, I will call you tonight!) but, all in all, nothing absolutely epic happened as a result of being difficult to contact for 72 hours.
The world did not end as some millenials would fear being without a smartphone would herald.
Several things fall through the cracks, every day, and in so many ways. Even the most meticulous list writers, calendar organisers, time managers and officious among the human race will forget things or neglect things from time to time.
We did spend Friday night off grid at the Treehouse near Matakana, where there is zero Internet and phone. There is a magic that comes over you at that house, after your brain has had a day or two to process the initial panic of being without social media or text capacity.
There is more and more research that touts the benefits of being offline from time to time. They call it a technology detox. Many of us take some time off of sugar, or gluten, or booze or caffeine. Why can’t time away from tech be a thing that we include in our overarching life strategy?
I know as some of you read this you are going through dark times. Hang in there and please do not be hard on yourself as a few things slide past you. Be kind to yourself. Go for more walks, turn off your phones and close your laptops a bit more. Look up at the clouds and the stars a bit more and down at your devices a bit less.
I realize the extreme irony of this advice coming from a tech junkie like me.
Thank you for reading.