Category Archives: Halloween

The Ghost in My Computer

Every year now I get more into Halloween. I don’t know what that says about me. Second childhood coming around perhaps? Now that’s scary.

When my daughters were young– and Halloween was always their favorite–I hobbled through it with eyes on what I considered more important upcoming holidays, namely Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I feel bad about that.

Sure I helped them with their costumes, but didn’t stay up nights like some moms with felt, tulle, shears, super glue and sewing machines. I like to think that because the girls essentially did it themselves, they became the creative women they are today.

This year, I’m pleased to say, I ushered in the holiday at the “Hallows in the Cathedral” concert performed by The Seattle Women’s Chorus at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Chanting, singing classical, showtunes, and pop in powdered white faces with dark red lips, capes and hoods, in a cathedral dark and remarkably unembellished, it was heavenly in a pagan sort of way.

So here is what is really haunting me lately: internet addiction. Call it an obsession, call it possession, it is coming to get me. I can feel it. It’s an addiction that crept up slowly over the years, and suddenly, can pull one under.

Once upon a time, I could go to my laptop and write. Now I have to clear all the email and check facebook, which sends me listening to Ted Talks, reading blogs of interest, newspaper articles of interest, signing petitions, and circulating petitions. Seeing where my daughters are, and what my husband is up to. Catching up on everyone’s photo album, travels and endeavors, hearing new music, old music, viewing U Tube videos. Browsing my favorite stores, browsing One King’s Lane, Joss & Main, Gilt and Haute. Off on tangents I never would have anticipated, and couldn’t begin to retrace.

And this happens every day.

All this before I’ve written one word.

Even my Morning Pages practice of nearly two decades is under assault. Although I write in another room, I hop up and down at every opportunity to log on. Sneaking and peeking, the obsessive-compulsive checking of email and facebook.

Can’t take ten steps without turning around and going back “to check.”

Can’t be in the same room and get into anything else. See what I mean?

Even as I write this, I am checking my email & facebook messages and posts. Thank god I don’t carry a smart phone. Thank god I don’t text or tweet too.

Sometimes instead of logging out, I have to shut it down and pretend that it needs its sleep. And go for a walk.

Oh get me out of here (writing at home)! I need a job. A job that isn’t wired. Something in the wilderness. Something like a park ranger.

My friend Teri Clifford has a sticker system. Using little gummy stars on her calendar each day, she gives herself one color for having exercised, and another color for journaling. I should adopt this. With the color green for staying off the internet one whole day.

For only nature can save me now.

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Filed under Halloween, internet addiction