A birthday “card”

Yes, this is an original poem wood-burned into a slice of tree trunk. No, you cannot buy it at Hallmark.

birthday card from andy

28 may not be a milestone year, but I have high hopes that it will be a good one. (Maybe the best of my twenties?)

Stuff worth reading

Two great links, both related to my most recent post:

“18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time For Again” by Brianna Wiest

2. Savoring time to do nothing.

6. Books.

8. Disconnecting from technology frequently enough that we won’t be anxious and feeling like we’re missing something when we try to do so for an extended period of time.

“Thoughts on Introversion and the Internet” by Kerri (aka Your Wishcake)

For an introvert, socializing can be draining. When it comes down to it, the internet is all about socialization these days, no matter how you look at it. I absolutely love the internet, but I’m tired of always feeling like I’m at the end of my rope because of all the noise I’m adding to my day. There are sometimes a hundred tiny interactions I have with people throughout the day, and even when they’re good things, happy conversations, encouraging words, beautiful photos, inspiring posts…it still drains me.

I need to be able to disappear from a social network without having to worry about what it will do to my stats or online presence.

I struggle a lot when I know I’m capable of doing something great, but doing it wouldn’t be great for me.

What happens away from the keyboard

My best friend Angie recently came to visit. She’s a go-go-go kind of person, so we had a very busy few days. Art and ice cream in Columbus, hiking and thrifting at Hocking Hills State Park, and long drives and deep conversations woven throughout.

Angie's visit 054

While she was here, I simply didn’t have time to blog. Then, even after Angie left, I found myself enjoying the “silence.” It’s not that I didn’t want to blog, or that I didn’t have anything to say. It’s just that… It felt right to step away for a bit.

(Tweeting, email, and FB were all at a bare minimum too.)

The thing is, I spend most of my waking hours at the computer. And I really don’t mind that. I’m a homebody who is very comfortable entertaining myself by reading, writing, and watching videos of puppies.

But the more I’m plugged in, the more I realize how important it is for me to disconnect too.

Maybe it’s different for other people, but my life is not lived online. My life is processed and preserved online, and that’s important to me. I enjoy doing it. But that’s not living.

For me, living is exploring a new part of town. Taking a chance on a restaurant I just discovered. Walking around a park in the chilled autumn air, and swinging on a playground next to a little girl.

Living is talking with my friends for hours. Not about the weather, or TV, or even politics, but about love, and work, and the things that are driving us crazy, and the things that we still hope to accomplish, and the things that we fear we never will. It’s about discovering ourselves while we get to know someone else deeply. It’s about honesty and vulnerability and connecting.

I’ve been lucky to do a lot of living this year. Vacations, visits from friends, walks with my dog, road trips with my fiancé. And yet — I’m embarrassed to say this — sometimes the thought of being away from the computer stresses me out. I can’t help thinking of all those minutes “stolen” from my writing. I can’t help wanting to stay in my comfort zone.

But it’s only worrisome until I do it. Once I step away, I realize how ridiculous I was being. And how great it feels to be out in the world.

Living is the reason I prioritize family, friends, and travel. Living is what fuels my writing. Living is what I do away from the keyboard, so that I have something worthwhile to bring to the keyboard.