Last night saw Bean and I crack out the cards and play canasta for the first time in several years*. We play Bolivia canasta, it’s a variation of regular canasta that requires three decks of cards, rather than two. The basics of the game are the same, but there are some twists which make it a more complex game that takes longer to play than regular canasta. We tend to finish the whole game in two hands, sometimes three. We used to play most evenings when we first got together, back when I didn’t own a computer at all and when online social networking wasn’t such a big deal. After having Sprout we played a bit less, but we still played, then we both got a laptop and we both got fakebook accounts and it was all over for the canasta nights. The cards got packed up and we rarely pulled them out anymore.
I don’t know what inspired me to suggest a game of canasta last night. I know that after a lovely day of farmer’s market shopping and pram shopping** I didn’t want the connection we’d established throughout the day to fizzle away as we sat on our computers ignoring each other. It’s such a terrible pattern we’ve established in recent years. One we’re really trying to change.
It’s tough, trying to break a compulsion to screen escapism. Especially this year, with so many sources of stress and frustration that we desperately want to escape from. It’s so easy to sit in front of the computer and
spend waste an evening. We go to bed, knowing we’ve made it to the end of the day, but not really feeling richer for it. That’s not to say I see no value in the computer, or the internet… I do keep this blog and read several others, after all. I just see no value in staying on the computer after I have achieved what I turned it on for in the first place. I don’t see value in using it to escape the dullness of my daily life, instead of making my daily life less dull! I suppose that’s what this switch off & reconnect endeavour is about. Connecting with my daily life, with myself, with my family, with my local area – creating connection here in my local, real life community instead of searching for it online every time I crave it.
The connection continued today, we played, we were silly, we walked outside in the short breaks between the rain, I made some biscuits with Sprout, then we went to the museum to spend the rainy afternoon.
A good real life is slowly coming together, here on the south coast, so I’m feeling less compulsion to sit on the computer endlessly flicking from page to page without a clear aim***. I’m enjoying discovering new people and places here, and relishing the fact that glorious people we know from past periods of our life are either living down here already or coming down here soon.
Yes, life is getting better every day, and so the computer is becoming redundant as a prominent feature in my days. How utterly fabulous this is.
*In case you’re wondering… I won! Bean won the first hand, but after a good looking start for him in the second hand I cleaned up and scored high enough to win the game too.
**We’ve put a pram on layby so I can walk Dave longer distances. Sprout and Moe can’t walk as far as Dave needs to walk to use up his abundant kelpie puppy energy, so they’ll be able to sit in the pram while I walk far and fast with the pooch.
***Surfing the internerd is great fun, but it’s just one of so many things that are great fun and it seems to (sadly) dominate my spare time so much because it tends to require less effort than other great fun pastimes.
What do you do to switch off & reconnect with yourself & people you love?