This was Patrick's, until his bike commutes demanded a bigger bag. Now it's mine, and I think we'll be getting chummy as I tote it around my many, many walks to run errands.
Let me get right to the list of the few things we are doing without, that are changing a lot about my daily habits (and how my brain works):
» Parking the car. Well, just my car (It’s still a little too cold for Patrick to ride his bike to work, which he’s anxious to do).
» No internet service to the house. That means no cable, too.
It’s just those two things, really, but it’s amazing how they change the landscape!
Walking, walking, walking
Our new home is within two miles of: our favorite coffee shop; a wonderful bakery; two grocery stores; the bank; the library; the entire downtown; the gym (if I decide to join … I’m contemplating an all-at-home scheme); a beer/homebrew shop; a brew-pub; a really good local bar/restaurant; a huge park (with running track!); any number of food and service businesses that we have yet to explore.
In other words, we are finally living in a space that does not require a car for our day-to-day. So it’s decided: I’m walking whenever I can.
WHAT NO INTERNET?!
Kinda sorta. We have an “unlimited” data plan for our smartphones … quotation marks because the limit is 5G apiece, after which point our connection speed drops. A lot.
What does it mean? It means that with that data plan, so long as we don’t go over our 5G (which is cumulative; it slowly fills up as we use it), we can use our phones as portable wi-fi hotspots.
Guess what? I used up my 5G about a week ago (damn you, Parks & Recreation!), Patrick used up his the other day, and our cycle doesn’t start again until the Jan. 24. Also, that slower connection speed is SO slow that my browser times out before it can load, essentially rendering the hotspot useless.
Lesson learned: streaming a lot of video is out of the question, and streaming any at all isn’t even advisable if we want to be able to do things like check our email and write blog entries.
Where it all comes together
Too bad about my internet-less home, right?
You know what? Not really. I haven’t watched ANY VIDEO (not even a three-minute anything) in a week. And I don’t miss it. Not a bit. Now, I would like to pick up Parks & Recreation where I left off. And we haven’t finished the second season of Breaking Bad yet. wanna.
But it can wait. All in good time. All in carefully parceled, purposeful, focused time.
And not being able to get on the internet on my computer? Problem solved: I have a library within twenty minutes’ walk of my house. And they have unlimited wireless for me to use. For the cost of a little exercise and absolutely no money.
Let me pile it on a little: Having lugged my (decidedly small and not really cumbersome) computer to the library, and knowing I can’t just spend the entire day here, I’m feeling less wander-y. No wasting time on random links and three-minute videos.
To re-iterate: this is where it all comes together …
These two simple limits have helped me carve more meaningful chunks of time. Yes, I still occasionally find myself idle (less often, because of all the walking). But now I’m more likely to spend that idle time reading something (really reading it), or choosing to observe the moment in appreciation (you would not believe how corny I am in real life; really, truly corny — because I love how light breaks through a window, or to hear the out-of-season call of birds, or the way that dog sighs when she’s sleeping …).
And to think on the months ahead and how we’ll have to parse our internet-connectedness at home. I am grateful for the purpose it will require me to assign those moments.
Purpose, purpose, purpose. More of this, please.