Remember my last post on First World Problems? I guess you could categorize this as one of those…
It happened, I’m not sure why, but it did. I came home from a long day at work, attempted to turn on the tv to catch up on my favorite show, and…nothing. After many frustrating phone calls back and forth with Comcast, we had determined that my modem was shot. Dead. Done. Finito. I had no cable and no internet access; what was originally anticipated to last only a few days went on for almost two weeks. As someone who loves constant background noise (I wake up to my favorite radio talk show, I cook with my favorite sitcoms on in the background, I put my makeup on to music) the sudden silence felt a bit deafening. What’s more, I could barely send and receive text messages. In today’s hyper-connected society, I was in the equivalent of a black hole. What was happening on Instagram without me?! What happened on the last episode of Game of Thrones?! As disarming as it felt, there wasn’t really much I could do about it.
So, I tried to make the most out of the quiet time. When I first moved into my apartment years ago, I spent several weeks without internet access (and furniture, for that matter) and was rather creative with my time. I organized my kitchen cabinets, gave myself manicures, and watched all of my favorite classic movies over and over again. This time around, I used a bit of the time to catch up on chores, and treated myself to a few Redbox dvd rentals. The closest Redbox to my house conveniently happens to be close to a 7-11. I might have ducked in for movie-watching snacks more than once. With access to Netflix and Comcast On Demand, I almost never rent movies. During this last stretch, however, I watched a number of great ones: Elizabeth, Far from the Madding Crowd, Atonement, Crimson Peak, and Pixar’s Inside Out; all of which I would highly recommend.
At one point, I busted out an old radio to listen to in the mornings while I got ready for work. It was a little scratchy sounding, but at least I didn’t have to worry about burning through all of my data! I poured through my cook books and threw together some delicious dinners and desserts. I finished the book I had been reading and cracked open a new one, with 800 pages to entertain me. I went out for cups of coffee, took a few yoga classes, and went to bed at a reasonable hour every night. When I finally got reconnected, I didn’t feel my usual impulse to turn on the tv every time I entered my home. Who would have thought that resetting my cable would turn into a whole mental reset? As much as I missed the music and the noise over the last 10 days, I suddenly feel more comfortable with the silence. I was initially worried it would all make me feel a bit anxious, but instead, I can curl up with a book, and it feels better than alright. With unplugging, although involuntarily, I’ve been reminded that I can enjoy my own company, fully and without distraction. Hey! If you ever get bored, you can always talk to yourself!