Taken any detours lately?
By Paula O’Kray
Sometimes the most interesting things can come from some of the strangest places.
Remember that big storm we had a few weeks ago? Well it took quite a toll on me, in a way that’s made it extra hard to forget.
I didn’t realize it right away, but the power outage took out my ThinkPad, and my router with it. When I did realize it, I set about getting these things fixed and replaced.
However, it took a lot longer than I thought it would. It turns out my modem was outdated, and that caused some problems. It took a while to replace that, and then I realized the router was the problem.
It took a while to replace that, and without a laptop, everything had to be done through my tablet or my telephone. Unfortunately, my tablet was not cooperating very well with the task at hand.
The data package for the tablet was unreliable, so I ended up using my telephone for almost everything. It felt like I was living my life through a keyhole for two solid weeks. I found myself just leaving it in frustration and going about my life without it.
It felt a little odd at first, leaving the house without the phone. Running errands, working in the yard, walking the dog; I mean, what would I do if something went wrong?
But then something interesting happened. I found myself missing it less and less, and I found myself getting more done.
I don’t mean I was getting more work done exactly. I was reading more, walking more, just sitting and enjoying the world more. Like laying in my backyard in a hammock just staring up at the trees with the dog at my feet, for hours.
I found myself slowing down and becoming more relaxed. Without having to check something all the time, I found so many other things that needed my attention that gave me a lot more happiness than social media.
When I realized the shift that was happening, I kind of chuckled to myself. Did I really want to replace all those things?
The real challenge came when it was time to write my weekly column. Without a laptop, how would that happen? I tried it on my tablet, but the Bluetooth for the keyboard didn’t want to connect. I couldn’t run to the library and use their computers, since it was a Sunday, and they were closed.
The only option left was to use voice-to-text over the telephone into an app that counted words.
This should be interesting, I thought.
It was a little bumpy at first, but I got it done and I was surprised how easy it was. I do love typing on a keyboard though, and I am looking forward to getting my laptop back soon.
When there’s a detour in town due to road construction, I typically keep taking the detour for a long time after the road is open again, simply because it’s a nicer, newer, and less crowded way of going and it’s almost as quick, but just so much more enjoyable.
Thanks to the storm, I was given a new detour to take, and I found it, as per usual, much more enjoyable to take. If you have a chance to take any detours in your future, I recommend them very highly.