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I have decided never, ever to plan ahead again — especially when what I’m doing has anything to do with technology. Just to remind myself,  I’m going to get a copy of that “Plan Ahea…d” sign where the “d” slips off the page and paste it on my laptop.

It was a rough couple of days. Wednesday, I was feeling very focused and energetic (for a change). I wanted TO GET THINGS DONE! Organization was all I needed, I thought. I made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish, very commendable. There were emails to send, research to do, a blog to start, library books to order, recipes to look up for my new vegetarian-life style and, of course, my regular daily brain training session on Lumosity. I decided to start at the bottom of the list and move my way up to the more important and serious work like researching more Self-Publishing sites so I could start to fill in those blanks on my matrix. Sarah is waiting.  But, alas, I was foiled from the start.

I probably shouldn’t have started crossing things off my list by going first to the Lumosity site and “challenging” my brain by getting all those little Chu-Chu-Trains into their proper stations. I love the game — I’m really not wasting time, I tell myself. After all I do enjoy it and, as John Lennon supposedly said, if you’re enjoying yourself then you’re not wasting time. But the gods of technology thought differently. WHAMO the screen went black. I knew right away that this was not a good omen — especially since everything on my list needed the computer. There are few things scarier to a non-technical person than for something to happen with your laptop that you have no idea how it happened or what the hell you’re supposed to do about it. I thought of contacting my Social Media Guru, Sarah, because she would certainly know what to do. But, alas, her phone number and email were inside my now blackened screen — as were all the addresses of anyone else I might have wanted to contact. Not good planning at all! So I did what anyone would have done — no, I didn’t kick it — I pushed the little “on” button to see if anything remarkable happened. There was a churning and then that Ta-Dum music and a lighted screen. I was excited. While it lasted, I thought it was probably a good idea to make an appointment with a genius at Apple. I love that they call themselves geniuses and wear those little blue shirts. That done, I felt less panicky when, within five minutes, the screen went black again. I was officially computer-less until my appointment.

This all happened on Ash Wednesday. I started thinking that just maybe my No Wheat/No Meat Lenten promise wasn’t good enough for the powers to be. Maybe they wanted me to embrace the season with more of a sacrifice in mind — say give up wine like I had in the past, or, perhaps, even cut hours off the time I spend on the computer. I didn’t want to think about that right then and there. After all, isn’t 40 days and 40 nights without meat and wheat a good enough sacrifice? And anyway, my sister, Julie, and I decided to do this together. Since she doesn’t drink wine and spends very little time on the computer, we had to come up with a common “giving-up” that would benefit us both. Does that sound like a wimpy excuse not to face my addictions? Well, not to me! (I can hear my friend, Judith, snicker at my justification.)

When I got to Apple later in the day, the genius in her little blue shirt smilingly suggested that maybe I wanted to leave my computer so they could run more in-depth diagnostics. The decision was up to me — no pressure and no charge. “How long?” I whispered. “Over night”, she said. My hands started to feel clammy. It was only one o’clock in the afternoon. Could I survive over 20 hours with no computer? No email? No Google? No Lumosity? I had no choice — the black screen made the decision for me.

When I got home, the cats were confused by the fact that I wasn’t sitting at the dining room table tapping my little fingers on the keyboard. They were even more shocked when I started putzing around the house, cleaning corners that had been neglected since the last time Maria had been here — which was a long time ago. It amazed me — and them — how much I could get done without a computer in the house.

Since it’s been home, I can’t say I’ve spent less time on it. But I do know that I can live without it — at least over night.

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