Techno vs One-on-One

WELL, I MISSED THE FIRST FRIDAY Art Walk in Salinas last week—I’d promised a new friend I’d make sure to attend. But, alas, it wasn’t on my calendar … my portable brain, so completely forgotten. Maybe today. Maybe …

I didn’t even get out and about till 2:30 or so that day. So, I also missed the Friday Farmers Market at Monterey Peninsula College, with all their lovely fresh fruits and veggies—and eggs. Plus the chance to walk around in fresh air. I just might make it this week (yay) as it seems I’m getting a better handle on getting my blogs done “on time” for a change.

“Curses to this computer!” I say … and to my smart phone! Sigh … too much—way too much—of my life is attached to it: blogging, my manuscripts, maintenance of my websites, keeping up with friends and associates on FB and the other social media sites, attempting to stay on top of emails (and failing miserably) … enough to make ones head spin. Unwillingly tethered to the technology to do the things I need and want to do to pursue.

Wonder how many other things I have forgotten and will miss because they are not on my portable brain(s)? I have the smart phone and a huge wall calendar that I try to remember to manually sync on a regular basis. I did so much better when it was just the monster wall calender. Now, many times I’ve had that nagging feeling there was something I was supposed to be doing, but when I find nothing on my wall calendar or in my phone … what can I do? (insert very sad face)

Getting out and being social is a good thing—away from the extremely non-personal social media of the internet. Yes, it’s fun to interact with near and far-away friends, plus it’s virtually (no pun intended) free. But, getting away from all of the technology is very freeing and allows for connecting on a more personal level. Sigh. I haven’t had much of that lately—the one-on-one stuff in real time—but when I have, it’s been delightful. Invigorating even.

I did manage to spend some time with a friend on Tuesday—it was delightful. An overcast—and eventually drizzly (yay! we need every tiny bit of it)—afternoon together, starting with a drink at Starbucks (well, I brought my own tea—I know, bad girl).

We continued walking around the Alvarado Street Farmer’s Market in Monterey, lingering at too many booths a wee bit too long (I eventually end up buying if I stay too long. Sigh). One place my friend wanted to check out was a used clothes store—we were there for a quite a while, managing a lovely chat with the clerk as we browsed the merchandise. I left with a beautiful pale green scarf. After even more meandering in the Market, we had a delightful dinner chicken special with artichoke and mushrooms at Rosine’s (I planned on having their salmon, but when he mentioned the special, I began to drool—oh, it was delicious!). There was absolutely no room for dessert!

Then, we popped into Old Capitol Books where a friend was doing a book reading (a tiny bit late—she’d already started her reading). My friend browsed the books while I listened. This is a neat store that I must revisit very soon and check their book selection. The monthly reading is definitely something I’ll have to sign up for. Looks like fun—and terrifying … intimidating for me with a fairly intellectual crowd of adults (country bumpkin that I am). Maybe a little too intellectual for a fantasy storyline? I did ask the group if they’d be interested in a MG/YA fantasy. They sounded surprisingly enthusiastic. I’ll be brave—remember, I’m a one-on-one kinda gal. I do okay in groups, but prefer small … very small. Perhaps I’ll even ask the proprietor if he’d be open to a book signing one of these days. We’ll see.

After even more wandering the streets of Monterey, we said our good-byes and I dashed home to take care of my critters. It was already dark. Five hours of exploration, interactions and fun. All in all, it was a wonderful reprieve from my time in the house (or coffee shops) on the computer. And for someone that hates shopping, all the outdoor walking made the shopping/browsing excursion far more enjoyable. The walking was delightful!

Guess I wouldn’t make a very good hermit 😉 I enjoy the company—personal, one-on-one (or three) interactions—of people too much. I do like my solitude, but … yeah.

I know I keep saying it, but I really do think it’s time to get back to Old School Ways. Get away from the Electronic Age we are so entrenched in. Ways I can do this is by working my manuscript by hand (to be transcribed into the computer later—can’t get away from that part completely), switching to a flip phone (just forward my calls from the smart phone to it), hand scribing my blogs (again, to be transcribed later) … so many things I could do to disconnect without completely giving “IT” up. Just stepping back a bit. Putting some space between me and all those electronic techno gadgets.

Engaging life again more fully.

Then again, there are days that are just the opposite—crammed full of things that I do, leaving very little time to breath. A little too engaged with life. Thankfully, those are only peppered into my calendar schedule … but some how this week had an abundance of those days scheduled in. Thankfully, a few of them fell through.

I know God helps me balance those chaotic days. Absolutely. Especially when I forget to do it myself. The unexpected call from my friend to spend some time together is one perfect example. Another is the last minute cancellations. He wants to remind me that balance in my life is important.

Now, it’s up to me to keep that balance. With His help, of course. It’s never wrong to lean on God when needed.

May your days be filled with blessings and balance.