Hello, thirteen.

Now that we’ve reentered adolescence, I’ve been thinking about those years before I was tethered to screens. The impossibility of the impossible I knew at thirteen isn’t so different from the potential we find online today. At thirteen, anything and everything seemed attainable. At thirteen, the drama of social life was extreme and it was a job in itself to keep up. It was exhausting. Screens are exhausting.

I got sick contracted the plague just after Christmas, and I gave up on getting much of anything done for a week. I’ll watch movies and read, I thought. I’ll just unplug and relax. Why don’t I ever remember that the one thing I don’t do when I’m sick is relax? That only happens on fake sick days.

I did unplug for the most part. I’d check Instagram and scan my phone for work emails, but seldom went into my office. If I did, the sofa was usually as far as I made it, and then it was TV and tea and remaining optimistic that once the Tylenol kicked in I could do some work. I did what I could.

As the plague faded, the cough stuck around. There’s nothing quite like a cough that won’t quit at 3am to let you sit with your thoughts about where you are and where you’re going.

Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you. – Carl Sandburg

This balance I’ve been seeking, this focus I’ve been trying to reclaim, the creativity that hasn’t seemed to flourish the way it once did, these months I’ve spent reading all these great books about technology and screens and our brains has seen it begin to return. But it’s not just what I’m reading, it’s how I’m reading.  I am regaining my focus by unplugging. Not because of the shift in how I use my time, but in the actual cognitive difference between time I spend with and without screens.

I’m not leaving this space, I’m just going to change things up a bit. For the better.I saw so much social good in social media in the last year. I saw so much creativity. I plan to take part in as much of that as I can in 2013.

Bring it on, 2013. Amazing things are ahead.


2 thoughts on “Smells Like Teen Spirit

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