I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
Yesterday marked the end of a glorious twelve-day vacation for my family, and for five of those days we were out of town staying in a house without internet access. Did reading that make your fingers twitch? Or did you feel your shoulders drop, your lungs exhale, your whole body relax?
For me it was a mixed blessing. I do most of my work on a computer, but also a lot of my recreation on it, so even though being out of contact meant no business emails to answer or writing deadlines to meet, it also meant no blogs to read, no YouTube to surf, no Flickr uploads of a toddler’s joy over Christmas presents as far as the eye can see.
Over the course of a normal day I spend A LOT of time online, both for business reasons and otherwise. I email my coworkers who are stationed in the office, but I also play on Twitter (probably too much), look up recipes for dinner, and check out what my kid’s doing via the photos and videos his daycare provider posts to an online album. Being disconnected from all of those things was…strange. But not necessarily bad strange. Staying out of contact for a few days meant not being responsible for keeping all of those balls in the air, and when I thought about just how many areas of my life are dependent on the internet, I heard the ding of a virtual bulb lighting up over my head. Taking away that lifeline made me realize how much of lifeline it really is, and how many balls I’m juggling on a day-to-day basis.
Sure, I missed being able to access all the silly and personal sites I love online, but even those things can get overwhelming because the internet is such a vast and bottomoless cache of neverending stuff. And then, of course, there’s reentry. When we got back within range of a wireless signal, it took me three hours to sort and prioritize all my digital inboxes (and then I had to read all those emails), but was it worth the time off. Oh yeah.
What about you? When you’re on vacation, or even just away from work, do you also stay offline? Or is being online so much a part of your lifestyle that you find a way to do it, either via smartphone or trekking to the nearest Starbucks for a signal?
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