Why Bother To Reset?
I am not too savvy when it comes to computer maintenance. As a matter of fact, I’d rather not have to dilly dally around with any machine when something goes wrong with it. But I own a computer and five days a week I use one at work, so when something goes haywire, I have to try and fix the problem, even if it means making a phone call to a technician.
Computer technicians have a language all their own, and like Latin or Greek, I don’t understand it. More often than not, I have to ask them to repeat their directions and when they do, I hear a long sigh before they try again to explain.
Once, a technician told me to try unplugging all the cords to my computer and then plugging them all back in again. That sounded like an easy solution until I crawled under my desk and looked at the tangle of cords. But ever since then, that is exactly what I do before calling for any help. And sometimes that is all that is needed to reset whatever needed resetting.
I discovered that like a computer, I too need to unplug to set things right again within myself. Even though I am a minimalist; not owning more than I need, maintaining healthy habits, and living within my financial boundaries, I’m not immune to getting overloaded with emails, deadlines and demands.
I first started unplugging in order to reset my inner rhythm when my three sons were young, small and needy. I’d leave my husband in charge and take walks all by myself on Sunday afternoons. After sixty minutes of no one calling me “Mom,” I felt a renewed sense of self and recharged, ready to face my duties with a smile.
Later, as the kids got older and more independent, I could take myself away for a whole afternoon. Mounting my bike, I’d ride to the water’s edge, sit and stare out at the landscape and listen to waves wash against the sandy shore. It took a little commitment on my part to spend an afternoon away, but it made a big difference in the long run for everybody else, including myself.
Now, with sons grown and gone, I have the luxury of taking more than an hour, and more than an afternoon to reboot. And I have found a special place to retreat to; a poustinia house, the Russian word for “desert.” It is a room where one can go to be alone to fast and to pray and recently, I went to do just that.
In the absence of having to prepare any meals, I sat with a cup of hot tea in the chilly spring air listening to the only sound around me; wind blowing through the branches of the old pine trees in the woods. In the absence of my to-do list, I sat and watched deer nibble at new grass shoots in a meadow. Without a computer screen, I scratched out poems and prayers using pen and paper. In the silence and solitude I relaxed and rested giving myself over to as many naps as needed. After twenty-four hours of my unplugged state, I drove home and resumed the regular routine I’d left behind, but with a restored, renewed and a little slower rhythm.
Why bother to reset? It is worth the small effort it takes to unplug, but the results are large enough for you to notice.