Groan! Do you think there’s any truth in this thing about the Universe making you take stock – by making you take a break?
I’ve certainly had a week of it! I was just getting back into the swing of writing a blog a day and then my PC went and crashed on me. Mind you, it was quite an eye-opener! While not being able to get my fingers gliding over those keys on a daily basis, I had to find other things to engage my mind in. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’ve even been outside feeding the ducks!
When my prized possession first crashed, it went out with a clunk and an awfully loud crunch. Believe me, it sounded terrible. I thought, “Oh no! That’s me done for until I can get a replacement.”
I phoned around loads of PC services within a 17 mile area – yes, I was prepared to travel that far – and the quotes ranged from £30 through to £120! I wondered how there could be such a wide disparity in costs as my explanation was the same to all of the gentlemen who answered my request for help.
But, thankfully, I had no need of their services. A kindly friend (an IT expert in his own right) heard of my dilemma and offered to take it in hand. Mind you, a week passed before I was able to get it to him.
During that week, I struggled to settle. It was kind of like a withdrawal from an addiction. I know, because I’ve been addicted to both coffee and chocolate and sugar! And it’s no easy task clearing that out of your system. On February 1st I decided to give up sugar for good. I subsequently joined a Fat Club on Facebook and took heart from the many people there who have struggled, just as I have with their weight issues. It feels a lot better when you join a group to help you with your aims – and that group is filled with encouraging voices!
Needless to say, during the week with no PC, going without sugar was evidently more difficult. My mind had been freed from the concentration normally applied to the PC and was free to wander about as it willed.
There were 7 things that I did to keep myself occupied:
- The first port of call was the fridge. Of course, it had to be. Thankfully, when I got there, the cupboard was bare!
- Then I made a concerted effort to catch up with correspondence (Rachel in ‘Friends‘ springs to mind – when she argued with Ross and Joey suggested he ‘drink the fat’).
- I read Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles – I had previously half finished it and when I got to the end of it, found I learned some wonderful new things about life.
- I put my mind to doing 20 minutes of exercise every day. Arm and abdominal exercises. A 100 of each. Took Jack Canfield’s message to heart – 100% commitment!
- I actually got down to doing some meditation. Very difficult, but without the PC distracting me, I managed to do it – twice.
- I remembered my childhood, as you do when you have time on your hands, particularly a time when I loved to write. As a result, I bought a Basildon Bond writing pad with big ruled lines on silky paper. That, together with a beautiful black ink fountain pen and began to write my story structures by hand – and a couple of letters to friends. Pretty amazing the way it made me feel. In short: connected with the world again.
- I also indulged myself and bought Bridget Jones’s Baby on DVD – and spent a whole evening eating bananas and remembering what had happened during the past 15 years since the last one had come out. Not good. Not good at all.
At the end of the week, my friend had replaced the PCs fan, power-sucked all the gunk and dust out of the circuit boards (believe me there was a lot!) and made it like new again. For his trouble, I offered to pay, but he wouldn’t have it. So I did some work around the house instead – his wife (a good friend of mine) and I loaded up the car with plastic bags of rubbish and took them down to the local skip.
On the way back, we passed a beautiful canal with swans gliding and ducks quacking and decided to stop for a while. Having spent so much time looking at the words form on the screen before me, it was a delight to actually look at some greenery, feel the breeze in my hair and the sunlight on my face.
The picture above, of the girl feeding ducks, is from my children’s short story Ami in the Malverns. I created it so that your kids could colour in the pictures – and let their minds wander while you parents read them the story.
In light of my new found freedom from being chained to the keyboard, I’m giving away five physical paperbacks of it! Subscribe to my e-zine before Friday 24th February – and the first five new subscribers will get a signed copy!
It’s amazing what you can do when you interact with the real world again. Try it for yourself. See if you can keep away from your PC/laptop/iPhone – or any electronic gadget that you have – for a week. Tell me what you come up with.
Meanwhile, I’m still on track with my ‘no sugar diet’. I’ve only indulged in one cup of tea on the odd occasion. Actually, I keep it as a treat for the end of the day, after I know I’ve succeeded in my goal. And you know what, I don’t even want that anymore! Something good must be happening.
Kaye Bewley, Founder of BewleyBooks.com