Today I did something crazy. I cancelled our internet.
It’s the beginning of a new year, and I’m ready for some long overdue changes.
Today, I gathered up my nerve, dialed my internet service provider, and summoned the words I’d been meditating on for months now.
“Yes, ma’am. How can we help you today?”
“Hi. I want to cancel our internet service.”
I’d said it. It was suddenly so real once the words had escaped my lips.
“Alright. I’ve got it all taken care of. Your internet service will be disconnected within the hour.”
Before I could change my mind it was done. I stood with the phone in my hand for a moment, soaking in what had just happened.
Have I lost my mind? Is this really a good idea?
I work online. The kids do their homeschooling online. All our favorite shows are online. How will I do our banking?
Is this gonna be manageable??
I reminded myself that worst case scenario I could always call them back and have it re-connected if we decide life is unbearable without the internet.
After all, it’s not like we’ll be completely without the net. We spend a ton of time at my grandpa’s house taking care of him, and he has internet there that we can get on. So I’m pretty sure we’ll survive alright. I can still get my work done online, the kids can do their online school work, life will go on. We’ll just have to be better time managers about it.
I’m thinking it’s a good move.
I could totally be wrong. Like the time I thought I’d minimize our dish washing load by replacing all of our plates and bowls with plate/bowls, and all of our cutlery with sporks. It was a good plan in theory… you know, only one dish and one utensil to wash per person… but eventually we all got tired of our sporks sliding down the side of the plate and submerging in our soup, and the old tableware slowly made its way back into the cabinets. We might find the loss of internet access just as inconvenient. I guess time will tell.
What would make me take such a drastic move in such a tech-dependent society?
I could easily blame it on the kids. Too much time on Netflix. Too many online games. Too many YouTube videos. Too much fighting over the computer.
But in all honesty… I’m the one with the problem.
When I get up in the morning, one of the first things I do is sit down with my coffee to check my emails. Which turns into checking the headlines, reading the news, looking up the weather, searching for a recipe… Why the heck do I look online for recipes when I have like fifty cookbooks?
Before I know it I’ve been sitting there for an hour.
Oh gosh, I gotta get off this computer!
But it always happens again. Throughout the day I find myself needing to look something up. The kids will say something, or ask a question, which prompts a google search. And then something else catches my interest, and then… oooh, I wonder if so-and-so has uploaded a new video to YouTube… and before I know it more time passes by.
Then in the evenings after the kids are tucked in and have finally stopped getting up to use the bathroom ( I don’t remember ever having to go to the bathroom at bedtime so much when I was a kid!), I take advantage of the quiet time by watching a documentary or a video on permaculture to inspire me in our endeavors. Maybe I’ll search for creative ideas on Pinterest.
I always stay up way too late. There’s so much to learn!
And then I wake up tired, overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done around the house, and I start the cycle all over again.
Truth be told. I’m too sucked in.
Even though I’ve been pretty good about not becoming consumed with social media, I’m still way too controlled by the internet. And I don’t like it.
I don’t like feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I don’t like regretting time not spent with my kids. I don’t like losing my patience with my children because they’re interrupting a message I’m trying to type. I don’t like feeling completely overwhelmed with my home.
I’ve tried organizing. I’ve tried decluttering. I’ve tried scheduling. I’ve tried everything that supposedly helps you get control back when you feel like your plate is way too full. And I’ve come to realize something.
It’s my computer that’s robbing me of what I really want. Life.
Getting outside into the fresh air and walking among the trees, is real. Sitting on the couch and reading books to my little ones, is real. Having people come over for a game night… in person!… is real. What you see on the computer… it’s only partly real, with a whole lot of props and editing behind the scenes.
There’s too much goodness surrounding me to continue to allow my life to pass me by while I fantasize on Pinterest about what I wish my garden looked like, or what my home looked like, or what I looked like.
I just want to be me. Living my life the best I can with nothing to prove.
I want to wake up refreshed and ready for the day. I want to play with my kids. I want to teach them all of the life skills they’ll need much too soon. I want to spend quiet time with my husband without digital distractions.
I want our home to be a sanctuary from the outside world.
A place free from social pressures, negative media, commercialism and advertisements, temptations and unhealthy habits.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of some rest.
I think my days will be more productive. I think the children will be more productive. And I think our relationships will be enhanced by disconnecting from the web and reconnecting with life.
Recently I searched to see if anybody else was as crazy as I was, and found an article that encouraged me and made me feel like I’m on the right path with this decision: Killing Home Internet Is The Most Productive Thing I’ve Ever Done.
I’m looking forward to having more time for what’s truly important in life.
Here’s to the new year.