Monday January 14 2013 910 am
The presents have been opened and put away, the decorations tucked into bins and boxes, far too many sweets have been consumed. Valentine’s Day candy already fills the shelves everywhere, and a certain big-box store yesterday featured shamrocks in an endcap display. (In mid-January? Really?)
I got back to work almost two weeks ago, when my kids went back to school. I found myself facing a long list of tasks, and I knew that the only way to get everything done was to work steadily and remain focused. Nothing innovative there, right?
But in an unplanned experiment, I tried something new. I’d stayed away from social media during the holidays, trading Twitter, Facebook and other perpetual virtual connections for real-life interaction. I used the internet to shop occasionally, and certainly to look up information or to answer questions. But I took a break from virtual life. And after the holidays, I simply didn’t go back for another week.
The results of my experiment? I had more time to spend with family and IRL friends. I took care of tasks that I’d long neglected. My dull-of-late focus on my longest-term writing project suddenly sharpened and I finally made progress in an area where I’d been stalled for what seems like forever.
There were more hours in the day and my thoughts were clearer. Seriously.
The downside is that I did miss quite a few of the people I’ve come to know in the virtual world, many of whom I respect, some of whom I consider friends. The time I spend on Twitter and in other virtual places brings a real return, in terms of personal enjoyment, professional connections and knowledge gained. I wouldn’t want to give any of that up on a permanent basis.
But clearly some balance is in order.
I guess that’s a resolution of sorts, or maybe it’s just a goal. In any event, I intend to do a little restructuring of my online life in 2013.
As for Uncharted Parent, we’ll have lots to talk about in the year ahead. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for discussions of the changing world of international adoption, a different kind of new world in which I find myself texting with my tween, a fearful seven-year-old (mine) gets introduced to Harry Potter, a new parenting dilemma and more. And that’s before we have any idea yet what 2013 will throw at us.
It’s good to be back.