As I sat back on my heels on the hard wood floor, I felt a familiar twinge in my hip and a slight click in my knee (getting old(er) really is a bore). I didn't care because I was watching the rain with my sons. They stood at the window, observing splotches of water and small round hail stones fall from the clouds, their noses pressed up against the glass, enquiring.
"Mummy, is Spring still not coming?"
"No, this is Spring. The rain is good. It cleans everything and leaves everything feeling fresh."
I love the rain. It reminds me of England, of long gray afternoons spent inside listening to rain tap on the roof and thunder rumbling outside. It's a cozy feeling of warmth and home. As my sons dove into my lap for protection from the snaps of thunder outside, I laughed softly and told them not to worry, that the sky was just "doing its thing".
It was one moment in a number of moments I've enjoyed with my kids this week. I've been spending more time with them, more time cooking food, more time lying on my bed reading my text books and magazines, more time doing nothing where possible. More time not being on the Internet, away from the social media sites that require participation and the many many blogs that await comments and the emails that need answering and all the things that pull me in yet another direction I can't quite stretch to at the moment.
It happened - this sudden desire to get away from the online world - because of last weekend. I spent in on a course, learning new techniques for my massage therapy practice. I reveled in the weekend, soaking up the education and the words of experienced therapists and the palpable atmosphere created by a room of women each connected by the same desire to learn and be better therapists. I was in heaven. And, as often when I come home after a weekend away, I returned entirely uplifted and nourished.
I suddenly looked at my lap top and couldn't bring myself to open it. So I didn't. And it felt good. And then I discovered something: during the minutes and hours that I wasn't online, my day was filling up with things as though they had always been there waiting for me to discover them. Small things, big things, simple things, insignificant things. I spent a day not being online and at the end of it, noticed something remarkable: I didn't miss it. Not even a weeny teeny inch.
Okay maybe a bit...
And for not missing it, I feel guilty. I find myself caught in a new conundrum: I want to be here and then again I don't. It's tough because I've made some great friendships online. I love reading all of your stories and I cherish your comments on this blog. I love writing and I'm exhausted by it. I enjoy the freedom of blogging and at the same time I find it incredibly demanding.
I'm not sure what this means for the now. I think often about how to make this work, so that it's less tiring and less of a distraction to the rest of my life. I consider how I could bend and twist myself in other ways to squeeze it in any available space, but unfortunately I'm all out of elasticity.
If only there were more hours in the day....