Monday, April 5, 2010

Where'd I Go?

I did something recently I haven't done in literally years—I totally disconnected for almost a whole week. No computer. No email. No phone really. It was weird. When you work for yourself, from your house, you're pretty much always at work. I check my email from the time I wake up until I go to bed. Same with the phone. Anyone wants to reach me, they call my business line, and unless I'm doing something like eating, I'll probably answer it. So I'm kind of always at work. (Which, incidentally, doesn't mean I'm always working. Just at work.)

But we went on vacation last week, and since I don't own a cell phone or an iPhone or any sort of mobile device that has Internet access (that's another story), I was completely out of the loop. The first day was pretty hard. I kept having bursts of panic that something was going dreadfully wrong and I wasn't there to fix it. I imagined my largest clients writing me with an emergency, and me not there. Even though they knew I was out of town. Didn't matter. I imagined new clients calling, needing something done, and no me. Gradually, though, the worry went away and I got more used to it. Then it was almost nostalgic. So this is what life was like before I became plugged in, before I opted to work at home ... You're much more present in the moment, much less distracted by the potential of incoming communication.

When I finally did check my email, I sat there waiting for the folder to open, wondering if any of the things I worried about had actually happened. And naturally, I had a zillion emails. But it was 99% spam and 1% no big deal.

Ah. So I actually can take a vacation and my world doesn't fall apart. What a nice thing to know.


Mark Terry said...

That would be nice. Last year about this time I went to Disney World with the marching band as a chaperone and only had my iPhone. I won't do any long discussions on the iPhone e-mail, so the couple business-related emails I did get I pretty much said: "I'm at Disney World with 150 high school students. I'll get back to you next week."

It was lovely & I should do it more often.

LurkerMonkey said...

Agreed. It's great to get away. Coincidentally, we were at Disney World, too. We took the youngest son for his 5th birthday and spent a few days in the parks. It was great.

Erica Orloff said...

I can't seem to unplug. I also have major GUILT about getting away. It's psychotic of me, I know.

Erica Orloff said...

HEY . . .

April prompt?

LurkerMonkey said...


Yeah, the guilt sucks. It doesn't seem fair ... "normal" employees don't feel guilty when they go on vacation, so why should we?

Prompt coming TOMORROW.

Allen said...

Glad you're back. I hope the time away gave you rest and peace.


Melanie Avila said...

THERE you are!

Welcome back. :)

magolla said...


We've gone there for about seven years straight, and it's so much fun seeing how the kidlet responds at the different ages.

I pre-post my blogs, but hubster takes his Iphone. There were enough opportunities to check his email without it interfering with vacation.

Allen said...

WhooHoo! I've narrowed down my identity. Either I'm spam or no big deal.

I'm hoping for No Big Deal. Very few people would agree that I'm small. I like people who call me No big anything.

I would rather not be spam. Too many MRE's with spam-like substances. But my wife thinks I'm spicy and most people think I'm a ham.

LurkerMonkey said...


Nice to see you too ... I'm way behind on blog reading, but I hope Michigan is warming up.

LurkerMonkey said...


We went often for a few years, then had another baby, so this is the first time in a few years now that he's five. It was great—he loved it.

And I envy you. I WISH I was organized enough to do blog entries and date stamp them, but the week before leaving town was madness.

LurkerMonkey said...


That's funny... But see, you aren't either spam or no big deal—I was already back. And anyway, ham is my favorite.