Unplug

meI don’t generally do coffee… But when I do I do it before noon. I’ve gotten to the age where everything just fucks with you… That’s not sour grapes either, that’s just a fact. I run. I hurt. I sit… I hurt. I watch shitty tv and I hurt. Anything I do… Hurts. So, yeah, I don’t do coffee.

The whole point of that opening was to illustrate that I’m still wide awake but it’s not because of coffee. Folks, I’m beat. Really. Seriously. Beat. I’ve been grinding and grinding and grinding and it feels like there’s no end in site. The year is almost over and I don’t feel like I’ve got much to show for it… Okay, I know that’s bullshit. I REALLY know that it is. I’ve done some rad stuff this year and I’m not yet done. So what am I getting at?

The elusive concept of balance.

A good friend, Austin, came to town for WordCamp. I didn’t get too much time to chat with him, but what time I did get was pretty awesome. He’s a character, smart, sharp as a tack and a bit of an asshole. My kind of jerk! We’re normally pretty good about exchanging barbs, but this time around I couldn’t get off the fact that I’m just mentally drained. Austin then chimed in with a personal story, which the crazy fuck is supposed to write about at some point. Needless to say, he told me that he started, not too long ago, going to monasteries to retreat, focus and do whatever the fuck it is that people do at such places. But listening to him talk about his reasons, how going made him feel was pretty deep. It was almost like sitting in a room with your buddies watching a porno; you keep looking forward, make awkward looks and avoid direct eye contact and trust that the moral is worth the awkward price of admission… Seriously, though, he spoke about this mental peace; just disconnecting and letting things go… I need to find a means of doing this. I don’t think, for me, I need to travel a long way to do it, but it might be fun to do it.

This isn’t an original thought, disconnecting from our fancy technologies and toys has been a discussion I’ve heard bounced around by people for many moons now. A friend, Jeff Turner, regularly disconnects on Sundays. Unplugs and let’s the technological universe do its thing and he pays it no mind… That kinda scares the shit out of me. Well, maybe not literally, but I sometimes find myself just looking through useless shit; peoples’ photos, ads, shopping, staring at my shitty code and wondering why my shitty code doesn’t work… I know this isn’t good and I need to affect some sort of change. I run, go to the gym and, on occasion go out in public and creep people out, but it’s not enough… I’d like to go somewhere.

I’ll take your suggestions on places to go (going to hell isn’t a good suggestion btw, neither is telling me to go f*ck myself, be nice!!).

So, as I grind my self down further and further I keep thinking of Austin, going to a Monastery, and a glob-trotting bald man doing what they can to focus and shut out the noise and how I might do the same thing from time to time…

How do you guys do it? I wanna know.

6 thoughts on “Unplug

  1. Good question. I hear emptying one’s mind takes practice. I’m going to try to see That Nhat Hanh in Escondido this month and hope to pick up some meditation skills. Needless to say, I’m over due and can sense that if I don’t take action practicing not taking action the ‘old bod is going to start Ending Tasks left and right for me (not good). Cheers to self realization.

  2. I love your vulnerability and transparency here Alex! People usually hide their insides and put fronts in for all. When we as humans begin to realize that we’re flawed (not perfect and can’t be on our own) amazing things might happen. 🙂 For the sake of cliché-ridden text, I will tell ya what I do when I see you next. Which is real soon. 🙂

  3. For me, learning to stop working and stop thinking and just disconnect was like either admitting your an addict and taking it one day at a time or going to the gym for the first time in 10 years. You just have to make yourself do it and then do it again until it becomes a habit.
    It can be tough because part if you loves the work. The other part looks back at years of not taking a minute to breathe.
    Having said all that, I’m headed to big bear this weekend for a few days of no email, no work, lots of drinks and cards against humanity.

  4. How do i deal with it?

    1st: i love that you used the word “fuck” 3 times in your post
    2nd: it wasn’t enough times
    3rd: i’m still dealing with “it”
    4rd: I setup a new S corp called URAFI Inc
    5th: I have the domain castawayvacation.com (haven’t finished it yet)
    6th: I’m working my way out of technology biz (planning by end of next year)
    7th: i actually got a mini vacation this year of approx 4 days
    I and family went to Lassen National Volcanic Park.
    It is so removed there is NO reception in the park.
    It’s a 30min drive to get reception

    How I deal:
    In the words of George Carlin – Fuck the Fucking Fuckers

  5. My suggestion is go to NY, walk through Central Park and get lost. There are a lot of pretty leaves this time of year! What can be peaceful about it is that it’s quiet and yet you can look out beyond the trees and see the big, busy city. I wish I could describe that feeling.

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