Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Beauty of Unavailability.

Last week I ate up every second of being unavailable as we drove West into the next Canadian province, for a family vacation in Kelowna.

One day I'll enjoy being available - I'll long for emails and for the phone to ring and for people to want things from me. But right now, there's nothing quite so lovely as the peacefulness of not turning on my laptop for a few days, as letting my cell phone battery die and not charging it for an entire week, with the knowledge I'll get to it all later.

In all honesty, I did check into my emails every now and then (an Internet junkie can't do cold turkey), but it calmed me, that I didn't have to respond to anything then and there. It would all wait.

I enjoyed the long, winding drive through the mountains and took the time to think and reflect. And by that I mean, I took advantage of random intervals between shrieks of protest and groans of discomfort and requests for more DVDs, colouring books and snacks. I simply take what I can get.

There's a certain something about British Columbia. It's very peaceful, and very imposing. Everywhere are deep valleys and towering mountains, all of it covered in the most luscious green forests.The open space is limitless and the woodlands vast and mysterious.

Yes, I fell in love, as I always do when in BC. And did I mention that Kelowna is famous for its wineries? Yes, true love indeed.



Being away from my life and unavailable to everything back at home made me think about how "available" I am day to day. Or, how available I feel I should be, if that makes sense. It seems as though I'm always switched on, always in touch, always "on" in one way or another. I feel the need to respond promptly to emails, to answer the phone or the door, even if my mood doesn't suit the timing.

In the end I suppose there's nothing wrong with being switched on, so long as I learn to switch off occasionally, too.
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10 comments:

Metropolitan Mum said...

I'd love to learn how to switch off - i.e. how to really switch. Without having a bad conscious about not doing a thing. The place you are at looks wonderfully peaceful. xx

Angela said...

I'm a BC girl and completely agree with you about the beauty of our province. And most of the time, I too, get my personal energy and sense of satisfaction from being "turned on" all the time. Technology really does make my life easier - the running joke in our family is "If it's not in Mom's Blackberry, it's not gonna happen!" And that is so, so, so true. But lately, I've been turning it off after 9 PM and giving myself an hour or two of solitude to read (my Kindle - yes, more technology). And I love it. I check my BB right before bed (cuz I use BB as an alarm clock too), respond to anything that can't wait (and at 11 PM at night, there's almost never anything that can't wait until the next day). Works for me....!!

Elaine A. said...

I'm going to be "unavailable" for a few days after tomorrow, since we leave for vacation in the afternoon and I CANNOT wait!! :D

Glad you all had a good trip/time away...

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Beautiful! I can't wait to go unavailable in a couple of weeks here!

James (SeattleDad) said...

Enjoy yourself, though it sounds like you certainly are. I have been unavailable too, but because because of scheduling. Would much rather be traveling again.

LisaDay said...

Turning off is a great thing. I am glad you had a great vacation.

LisaDay

Slightly/Aubergine said...

I shared this very same sentiment months ago and decided that I'd take one step forward in minimizing my accessibility: I quit Facebook.

Freedom!

Now I don't know why I was there in the first place. Back to "old fashioned" emails now and phone calls. :)

Lizbeth said...

That is beautiful!!

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

I find it very hard to switch it off mostly, but there are days where I want nothing to do with anything internet related. I think it's great to disconnect every so often though - seriously, what did we do before we were so involved it anyway???

Loukia said...

So glad you had a great time, and I agree, it's so wonderful to dis-connect for a while. I did the same thing on our trip to Maine just last week. So nice to just relax!