Freedom

April 4, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I didn't have my computer. It was the greatest feeling in the world.

I didn't lose my computer. That would be terrible. I knew exactly where it was, and I knew when I was getting it back. I also knew who had it. So for three hours, I was untethered with no worries for the first time in what seemed like forever. I distinctly remember laying, not sitting, on my couch, relishing the moment, with the full intention of not doing anything and feeling fine about it. Drifting off to sleep like that was one of my best naps in recent memory.

Granted, I'm not on my computer when I'm sleeping, but that's different. The thing is still on my desk, or even worse, next to me in bed, unutilized. It's like a looming presence in the back of my mind, watching me, a constant ticking reminding me I have things to do. It feels better to have it open, working on something, than it is to close it and leave it alone. Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat and immediately checked your email? Your nightmare could or could not have been related to work but we all suffer from email anxiety.

This was a revelation. As I watched that computer walk out the door, I felt another world opening up and enveloping me, one free of code and Facebook and random web surfing and all that dreaded email. Have you ever seen the third Matrix movie? It was terrible. But there was one scene where they were flying through the machine world, going higher and higher until they finally reached the clouds, and for a brief moment they saw the sun and the sky and they looked at each other like it was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen, right before plummeting back down. Yeah, it was like that.

So what does it say about me, that those three hours felt more real to me than my two week vacation last year? Well, that obviously something is wrong with me, but even better, that now I know it's possible to feel that way in the midst of all the stuff we have to do.