Do you ever disengage? I’m talking totally unplug. No TV, no radio, no newspaper. Still with me? Now for the really uncomfortable part. No iPod, no iPad, no smart phone. In fact, no phone at all. Now, prepare to be terrified. No e-mail, no IM, no texting, no Twitter, and GASP, no Facebook. Not for an hour. Not for a day. Not even for a week. How about for 11 days? Can it be done? Is survival possible? It is possible and I am living proof. I just returned from an 11 day trip to the Hill Country of Texas and had no access to any of these things. Just camping, face to face conversation, and guitars – lots of guitars. What a great experience. It’s a little unsettling at first not knowing what your friends are doing every possible second. And not knowing about world affairs, the daily gossip about the Kardashians, or the latest congressional scandal. However, you tend to get used to it pretty quick. And talk about relaxing!
I had no watch. Didn’t need to know what time it was. And I didn’t really care. Time wasn’t ruling my life. With this newfound freedom, I realized that you can appreciate nature more. The birds, the bees, the trees, even the hills and rocks (and occasionally the strange looking bugs that start crawling by you). The clouds, the blue sky, the stars and the moon.
And the conversation. No limits on the number of characters. Could actually complete a full sentence with adjectives and everything. We got to know the others camping around us because we were having long conversations that weren’t interrupted by technology. Sometimes I found out more about my fellow campers than I might have wanted to know, but it was fun. And I learned some new things.
The best part of all was the music. Guitars and singing going on 24 hours a day (doesn’t leave much time for sleep). Original songs, cover songs. Sad songs, happy songs, silly songs. And even songs made up on the spot! I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Slow Down and Listen to the Music”. This is very true. If you walk by a person playing guitar and singing without stopping and listening, you will not appreciate their talent and won’t catch their message. The same thing goes for life. Slow down. Observe. Enjoy the simple things. Appreciate the world around you. Take time for yourself. Unplug occasionally.
And when you return to work and are ready to reorder parts and supplies for your continuous form printers, call Bradshaw.