Be present, part 1

I’ve gotten into the bad habit of doing everything in front of my computer. I probably would not spend more time in front of a computer if it were physically attached to my body. Because, let’s face it, the computer and the Interwebs are great tools that usually help with productivity and sanity.

Except when the computer becomes your life and you don’t know how to *be* without that technology.

I feel as if that is where I am headed. And instead of continuing down this path, I want to learn to be more present.

Whenever I am home, you can find me stretched out on the couch with my laptop perched on my lap. I talk to friends (who happen to live far away) via instant messenger, I read the news and blogs, and I am on the constant search for delicious new recipes. Like I said, the Internet is a great tool.

But with great tools comes great responsibility and I think that the computer has become an energy and happiness vampire. Instead of aiding me when I need it most, the computer has become a way to “sedate” myself, so to speak. Surfing the Internet is nearly a completely mindless activity at times and it can be a great boredom buster. But when I start eating every single meal in front of the laptop screen, that mindless activity has become a problem. Obviously, I can’t pin my happiness or unhappiness on an inanimate piece of technology, but the more time I spend on the computer, the less time I spend on myself…reading, writing, just *being*. And that is harmful for both mental and physical health.

I ate lunch at my kitchen table today, *gasp* with a place mat, and I felt a lot better for it. I read my new issue of Runner’s World, I enjoyed the peace and quiet, and I actually savored my food (instead of shoving it down my gullet and watching Hulu). It was 15 minutes of pure bliss…no texting, no webpage reading, nothing. Just me, my food, and a good magazine. Honestly, it felt almost like meditating.

So that is that. Breakfast and lunch will occur at my own kitchen table.

{In part 2, I will discuss how this constant plugged-in-ness affects my relationships}

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