Get Me Out of Here!

Notes from Sunday 29 March:

I’ve been away from the internet since 7am this morning; the last time I scrolled through my notifications, checked over the control panel of my blog. I’ve been in class, learning in real time. My hands haven’t touched my keyboard. I’ve been making notes in my notebook, like, with a PEN. It feels, frankly, weird.

Being in a learning environment with all those other souls feels different, too. In a strange but familiar way.  I’m in the first retreat block of the Leadership Programme I am part of. It’s day one, two more to go. I quickly get a bit peopled out, but I console myself with the idea that soon, I’ll have some one on one time with my laptop.
Being off the internet feels weird.

So when I get to my room, (Yes!  Sudima Hotel has free wifi!), I instantly seek out my old friend. There’s a sigh of contentment as I lift my laptop over onto my lap.  Hello sweetheart.  Let’s go exploring…

Except a pop-up window keeps telling me that my usual pages are all, ‘untrusted connections’. It won’t let me validate the security certificates.  Just one option is available on my screen. ‘Get Me Out Of Here’.

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But I don’t want to get out of here! I’ve been getting twitchy withdrawal feelings from my internet; my friend.  I miss it. I miss what it shows me, where it takes me, who it connects me with. I keep trying, like a drug seeker after that familiar hit. I’m no quitter.

Then my roomie starts conversing with me. And the conversation captures me!  Before I know it, my laptop is sliding sideways onto the bed. I’m listening. We’re talking, laughing, covering the deep stuff.  Travelling the world and traversing through time.  Connecting like old friends.  That feels nicely weird, too; we are talking about things it would usually take established friends some time to reach!   I close the lid and turn to laugh at something she just said.  We giggle and adjust our volume so we don’t wake up the people in the neighbouring room.

Connecting with real people in real time is exhausting for me. I like respite.  Alone time. It helps me to recharge when I have some solitary time.  So I am surprised that I have spent an entire day, deeply immersed in the learning.  Engaging with all the individual souls in my programme.  Talking, listening, talking, talking… and then come to my room and talk some more. We talk until midnight gives us pause.  My brain is whirring somewhere high above my sleepy self.

A little thought skips through my mind as I close my eyes. How interesting that my ‘untrusted connection’ warning on the internet has left me open to a real and trusting connection in real life.  Kismet. Coincidence.  Connection in a dis-connected, digitally connected world.  I like it when life gives me gifts like that conversation.  To be present is the present.

Goodnight.
And internet? I’ll see you when I get out of here, my old friend. Til then I’ll be immersed in some other kinds of connection …and you won’t miss me at all!

… enough …

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Auckland is at her best today.  It’s a warm summers day with a light breeze.  The pohutukawa flowers blaze against the blue and white skies.  The hubster is still on holidays and today, we’re up in Orewa to try the cycleway.   They’ve unloaded the bikes, strapped on their helmets and cycled off down the track.  I’m here, in the car, watching them go.

When I saw the map of the track and realised that it was 7km, I knew it was out of my reach. My seven year old can manage a flat 7km ride without any hardship, but for me, it’s out of the question, even at a walk.  Just sitting here in the car, the world is tilting out my window.  I ache all over, and I have that residual irritability that comes when I have been overdoing things.   When we planned today, I felt so daunted. I thought seriously about staying behind.  The idea of a day in bed was exactly what my body and I wanted to do.

But next Monday, my Bobby D will be back at work.  Our opportunity for family time will have passed.    It’s far from ideal, sitting here in the car for an hour while they hit the track; but it could be so much worse. I have the most beautiful view over the Te Ara Tahuna estuary.  I hear children laughing and the sound of the ice-cream van.  And at both ends of that cycle ride, we’ll all be together again, hanging out in the summer holidays.  To all appearances; normal.  My hand on his leg while we drive, the kids laughing and bickering and chatting in the back.  Us.  If I close my eyes and use my imagination during those moments, we could be any family. We could be us, but in a parallel universe, where I am well and all is well.

Yet, in all honesty, I’m feeling left out. Even though I know that it was the right thing for me to come, anyway.  I’m feeling grumpy. I’m tired and tetchy and alone.

So what.

I get to be their Mum, his wife. I get to be with them.

I close my eyes and let that summer breeze take me to a place of relaxation. I breathe slowly and thoughtfully. I rest. Just what I need for the next bit.  There’s a rhythm to life when you stop fighting it.  I can do it, I think. One breath at a time.  I visualise all my grumpy dissatisfaction, words upon words upon words on a page.  In my mind’s eye, I take that page and screw it up.  Toss it over my shoulder.

This day, being there when they return from their ride, smiles wide and faces pink with exertion, being there.  Being there, with their happy energy, being the smile they find at the end of their track.

That will be enough.

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PS.  My friend just told me about this, I hadn’t seen it before.
You are right Mel, it is special.
I thought I would share it on this post in case others haven’t seen it either.

I wish you enough sun to keep your