Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I never thought it would happen. I check email several times a day, 7 days a week. I also write for at least some portion of every day because I love to write. My laptop goes everywhere with me. It’s like my baby. ? My eyes don’t know what it’s like to get a rest from the computer screen. Until now!

I went away for the weekend and left my laptop home!

I didn’t plan to. Bringing it almost everywhere is automatic. But, for months my electronic companion has made funny noises and I didn’t know why. I brought it to the Apple genius bar in the summer. The guy recommended I leave it for a diagnostic check. Said it would take 2-3 days and would check for any problem. But how could I be without my laptop for even one day!!?

So I waited and got more aggravated with the odd noises. Since I was going away over the weekend for some R & R, I decided to bite the bullet and leave my laptop with Apple. For weeks I stressed about it—like I’d be leaving an arm behind. My lap is part of me in many ways. As a professional writer, I’ve been using laptops for more years than most people—a way of life. So I prepared for my separation from mine.

First, I signed up with Mozy, an online backup service. It took over a week to download everything. Now it backs up new documents every day, without me doing anything. I can tell it’s on by the color of the button but it doesn’t affect my computer. I LOVE it! For $4.95 a month, I don’t have to worry about losing documents from a crash or if a fire burns my computer and backup discs. Everything is safe with them. That gave me one level of relief.

Then I convinced myself I’d be okay without my electronic other half for the weekend. I got used to the idea of some time off the screen.

As it turned out, when I brought my baby into Apple, they said because it’s the busy season it would take 7-10 days. I couldn’t handle leaving it for that long! Fortunately, the tech support person I got found some things that she could fix and it might be all the laptop needed. So Mac went home with me. Happily! I started thinking about how to pack it on my mini-trip. I planned to just take a backpack and the laptop would make it heavier. Hmmm…. Should I still leave it home?

Yes! I CHOSE to go away without the laptop after deciding it was the best thing for me to do! I felt so proud that I made that choice. It was a mini act of self-love!

I didn’t miss it. Can’t imagine how my back would feel had the added weight been along. I felt free without dragging a laptop around! And, I didn’t miss it at all. Of course I was only away for 2 days and might have gotten itchy had it been longer. But I learned how important it is to have a total vacation from regular life once in a while.

It was a nice break. Since it’s close we went to the Atlantic City area, but not to gamble (okay, just a little as I love to play!). I just wanted to spend time at the ocean. I’m one of those oddballs who loves being at the beach in winter. The weather was actually quite mild so Saturday was spent walking and walking and walking. Some was even on the sand along the water! I find watching the waves very peaceful.

Though there are many hotels with casinos on the boardwalk, we chose to stay out of the city, on Brigantine Island. It’s a 10-15 minute drive, but a world away. Speidel House Bed & Breakfast is the only B & B in Brigantine, NJ. It’s a lovely old restored house, decorated with antiques and beautifully restored furniture. There’s also a lot of war memorabilia that I found fascinating. Glenn, the owner, is more than hospitable. He wants his guests to be happy. And happy we were.

Our room had a deck overlooking water. There are other decks around the house. It’s a lovely place to just hang and relax. We were offered cozy robes to wear and jump into the hot tub. That night was below freezing so I wasn’t in the mood for it. But it’s there for whoever wants to use it. I HIGHLY recommend a visit to this lovely B & B if you have access to the area and want a pretty place to chill for a few days. I never thought about my laptop sitting home—not once! ?

When I left DoorMatville, I learned that part of loving yourself includes doing things that make you smile. You can learn that for yourself by planning something special. A weekend away is a loving gift for you. Pick your own pleasure but pick something! Don’t just daydream about doing things. Make at least one a reality! Sometimes you have to consciously break a habit, like I did with taking my laptop everywhere, to find a great alternative.

A break from day to day life is a wonderful boost. I’m tired but feel more relaxed than I have in a while. Try it! You’ll definitely enjoy the benefits!

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