Day 8: Addiction-free Day.

I need to start consulting the Book earlier in the day – probably I should check out the next day’s task before going to bed on the current day.

Today’s task was to “cut out addictive substances” – but by the time I got around to looking in the book (about one in the afternoon), I’d already had two cups of coffee and a couple of swigs of bourbon. Caffeine and alcohol are the only addictive substances I ingest on a regular basis, and it was too late to cut them out. I was, again, asking myself what the hell I was going to do.

I mulled the question over while vacuuming and realized that the same thing that had kept me from consulting the Book – a final, unsuccessful attempt to fix my plumbing myself – had also prevented me from accessing the internet. And while it’s not exactly a “substance” – let the philosophers argue that one – it certainly is addictive, and I waste plenty of time, every day, wandering aimlessly around the internet like a tourist without a Baedeker’s.

So. Today, aside from logging into WordPress to produce this tasty bit of bloggy goodness, I have eschewed the interwebs. I have not checked Twitter or Facebook or my email; I have avoided reddit and the Wikipedia and my RSS aggregator; I haven’t googled every trivial question that popped into my head (and there have been plenty). And you know what? I actually feel pretty good.

I replaced the slothfulness that my internet usage so easily breeds with actual productivity: in addition to failing as a plumber, I vacuumed, did some laundry, washed some dishes (with cold water, which is the most fun thing EVER), painted a piece of furniture, went to the grocery store, and – with my father’s help – made the step between the master bedroom and the office look finished and intentional (before it looked like we had taken a step out and not bothered to replace it (which is exactly what happened), and there was a hole – maybe 2″ x 6″ – through which things could be passed into the crawlspace under the house). I also hung out with some friends, ate some dinner, drank some wine, yelled at spoke in a calm and reasonable manner to my kids, and wrote a blog post about how I didn’t use the internet all day.

That was a joke.

Anyway. I’m certainly not going to swear off the internet, but it’s nice to remind myself that I don’t have to sit down and click around on the computer every time I wander through the room where it is, even if I’m walking through it to accomplish some other, more pressing task.

That was a joke, too.


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