Thursday, July 25, 2013

Getting Unplugged - Eleanor Shepherd

We just spent two days in Detroit, on our way through to Chicago where my husband, Glen and I will be leading several sessions at a conference with The Salvation Army.  We left our home in Montreal on Thursday, and took the opportunity to visit family in the Toronto area Thursday and Friday.
Then on Friday evening we went to Niagara Falls, where we stayed with friends and managed to take in two plays at the Shaw Festival.  One was Major Barbara and the other Guys and Dolls.  We also visited the Falls.  On Sunday morning we worshipped with them in their house church.
On Monday, it was back to Toronto where I was able to have coffee with a long time friend and then on to Detroit, via Windsor.
In Detroit we spent one day at Greenfield Village, a huge reconstructed heritage village created by Henry Ford and half a day at the Henry Ford Museum.  It was all fascinating.
Leaving Detroit this afternoon, we arrived at South Haven on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, in time to enjoy a magnificent sunset over the lake.
So what it the point of this travelogue.  There is something that I have noted that is a result of our electronic attachment to our daily routine.  While we have been able to enjoy all of these things, that are not a part of our daily routine, at the same time, we have also not been able to leave our responsibilities behind.
When we stopped in Toronto on Thursday, we did not only spend time visiting with family, Glen also had a business meeting that he had to attend, so we were only partly relaxed, as this was on his mind.  As a result, I had to adapt my schedule to accommodate to his needs.  Then we were able to meet up with our relatives.
         In the midst of this, Glen also had a teleconference, so more time was spent with his ear to the telephone, while I was half focusing on our leisure activity. The reason we had to go back into Toronto on Monday, was for another business meeting that he had.
Lest you think it was only Glen who could not unplug, I also kept following the string of emails about some important events linked to my new position, and had a hard time keeping myself from becoming embroiled in the discussions.  However, I remembered that I had said to my colleague that I would leave him to make the decisions in my absence and I did not want to second guess him for the sake of our ongoing working relationship.
Not only are our iPhones keeping us anchored to our desks, even on vacation, we also have both brought our iPads and laptops.  Theoretically the reason for bringing these is to have them for the conference if we need them.  However, there is not a day that I have not been on my iPad.  Where do you think I am writing this?  That is right.  On my iPad.
The other excuse that I use for daily turning on my iPad, is that I keep the records for my daily intercession on it.  That is true.  However, when I have completed my intercession time in the morning, it is rare that I turn the iPad off right away.  I just check on a few things, and once again I am plunged into the concerns of my daily life.
While my laptop may be useful for the power point presentations for the workshops I will do at the conference, I have also found that when I turn it on, I realize that I need to delete files, to make room for additional information on it, and once again my mind become preoccupied with work.
Today, an interesting thing happened.  I did not have time to do anything on my iPad this morning after my prayer time.  I forgot to charge my iPhone last night and was afraid there would not be enough charge to look at my emails today.  Then my computer was in the trunk all day, so I could not open that either.  You know what happened?  I had a lovely day.  I was able to enjoy the company of my husband, who did not make any calls related to work. We sat by the lake this evening and watched the sun setting and only used the iPhone to capture the moment on the camera.  We both feel so much more refreshed this evening.  Now, as soon as I post this, I will try and unplug for the next few days.  I think I could even like it!

Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Eleanor, you and Glen are so into the technology and have the savvy to use it! I'm way behind in that area, and plead ignorance -- that can be bliss.
So far, I neither have a tablet computer nor a smartphone, so most often when I'm away from home and the computer for several days (although I could take the laptop) I get more of a complete break.
On the other hand, coming back to umpteen emails and phone messages, kind of sucks away some of the bliss.
BTW: That's a lovely photo of you and you prince! :)

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