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Away from the desk - October 2014

02 Oct 2014

Please don’t call me

Today is a truly glorious day.  Sunny, light infused, mellow, peaceful and smiley.

Away from my desk today meant having a picnic lunch with my friends Tam and Mike on the grass over-looking Victoria Harbour – hummus and quiche, bread and ham, a really great salad. Good conversation that ebbed and flowed, buoyed up by the sunshine and sparkliness of the water.

Kind of a shame that I am leaving to head far, far north tomorrow in search of the sun …

It’s just so easy to leave Melbourne when it’s bitter, cold and twisted  – so often the case at this time of year – and flee north to sunny Queensland.

Having made the decision months ago in the dead of winter, I guess we’ll just have to tough it out.

It’s funny, because the big questions for this trip didn’t revolve around where we would go or stay.

For me, it’s more about how can I encourage a state of real presence in myself and my children for the here and now.

And for me, like lots and lots of people, it’s got a lot to do with my phone. Having a phone is like taking your desk, your friends, your loved ones, your colleagues, all the myriad of large and small issues and worries, compressing them into something that fits in your pocket, and carrying it round with you ALL THE TIME.

It’s such a drag. A serious drag.

Because instead of taking in what you can see, hear, feel and touch wherever you are, you are thinking about something else, someone else, somewhere else. It totally sucks.    

The moments where I do become aware of this, and deliberately pull myself back into the present, whether its on a tram, at my desk, talking to a friend, I feel a sense of delicious connectedness that is both grounding and satisfying. Imagine spending every waking minute actually thinking about what we were doing at the time, rather than: a) worrying about the future; or b) regretting or over-analysing the past. Just imagine.

So this holiday I have resolved to have no-phone time during the day, where we leave our phones behind. We go to the beach without our phones. We go for ice-cream without our phones. We go for bike rides without our phones. We sit and do nothing. Without our phones. I know. SCARY ISN’T IT?

Won’t I be bored? What if someone were to get sick? What if something happened to my parents? What if the house burned down? What if my partner broke up with me because he interpretted my not answering the phone as a sign of indifference and found someone who always had her phone on her? Always on call. Never remote and unattainable. What if?

 So I guess the antidote to this is to remember the time before mobile phones when holidays away from home meant keeping in touch via public phones along the journey. When people didn’t expect to be able to reach you all the time. When things could wait. When we were allowed to be bored from time to time, and it wasn’t seen as suffering akin to one of Dante’s seven circles of hell.
Just imagine that. Would make a great sci-fi concept.

‘til next time.
Maria x

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