Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Whatever you do, DON'T PULL THE PLUG!

    “I need a vacation, just a few days to do nothing but unwind, unplug and relax.” I looked out the window at the three feet of snow that dropped down from the heavens the night before, and sighed. My friend, who was on the other end of the phone and three thousand miles away in a world where The earth shakes at times, but the sun almost always shines, chortled.
     “Relax and unwind?  I’d like to see that. I just don’t know if you can.” she said matter-of-factly.  Before I could think about what she said or respond, the conversation floated to another topic and then another, as our long distance catch-up calls often do.

Later that evening, I thought about what she said and felt a bit hurt, and truthfully more than a bit upset. What did she mean by that?  Of course I can unwind and relax. Didn't I spend many, many, sometimes way too many hours lounging by the beach and the pool in Malibu and Santa Monica? Doing nothing for hours on end but, as my mother would say, contemplating my navel?

Alright, to be completely honest, those Santa Monica/Malibu days happened way back in the mid to late 90’s, before I owned a smart phone. Hell, I didn't even own a dumb phone and Facebook was only a Nano twinkle in a prepubescent’s eye.

Oh oh--have I become that person? You know the one I mean. The one who can never let the phone go unanswered lest a business deal be forever lost?  Or the one with the nagging itch that can’t be scratched unless they catch every single text, post or tweet that’s hit into cyber left field? Am I destined to join the growing throngs of the virtual community, social media twelve-step program?

Shamefully, I must say it sure as shit looks that way. So that being said, today I will set a goal. End of the first week of July I am planning a bucolic trip to Maine with my dear left coast pal. On that trip I will unplug. I won’t take my computer on the trip (It’s a little warm in here, did someone turn off the A/C?) My voice mail will inform people not to leave a message unless their hair is on fire (I’m sweating profusely now) and I will have an "away on vacation” automatic email message response (the room is spinning) AND I forbid myself to text, tweet or post (make way, I’m hitting the floor. . . CRASH).

Now of course a person cannot quit cold turkey like that. There can be some serious withdrawal symptoms.  I can see myself on vacation, breathlessly climbing the craggy cliffs overlooking the Atlantic, all the while wondering what Liza’s Panini-of-the day had been or if I missed the cutest dog/baby photo ever posted in the history of time!  It may cause me to take a misstep and fall hundreds of feet into the watery abyss, never to be heard from again.

So that being said, I will slowly disentangle myself from the social media vortex. Right here, right now!  In a few moments, I will grab my towel and walk out to the pool. I’ll leave my Droid Incredible behind! Just in case I become weak and run back into the house to fetch the phone, leaving chlorine puddles everywhere, I’ll lock it away and hide the key. Even I won’t be able to find it.

You know, on second thought, while I'm swimming, maybe I’ll just leave the phone by the table next to the lounge chair.   Baby steps, people. Baby steps!    lol <3 <3
twitter: @AlisonMCaiola
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Alison Caiola is the author of The Lily Lockwood Series:
The Seeds of a Daisy( now available in paperback and download on amazon, and iTunes

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