Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Time Suckers

So the whole point of this self-binding experiment was to reclaim some space in my life, right?

With my project push on, it is important that I take that time to focus on my writing, right?

Well, not if I listen to my husband, who encouraged me to upgrade to Windows 7.

Why, why, why?

I know these things never go as quickly or smoothly as you want them to. I KNOW that. However, because I am currently able to get a special student deal (Windows 7 Home Premium for $29.99), I decided to go ahead. My computer has been having these little hiccups for awhile now so I've been hoping the upgrade would take care of these persistent problems. The jury is still out on that. However, the jury is not still out on finding myself guilty of software-installing naivete and misguided persistence in the face of overwhelming odds.

12 hours. By the time it was all said and done, attempting to install the update, finding fixes for my Toshiba issues, realizing my computer wasn't responding well to those issues, performing a clean install, reinstalling Office 2007... what a nightmare.


in the middle of all that, I had to take my son for his senior pictures... my son who HATES getting his picture taken.


So... I ended up actually being online to look for fixes and stuff... but I DID stay away from Facebook and Twitter. It was tempting to whine and vent but I refrained... until here and now!

I am so frustrated that my good intentions to get one or two sections of my literature review written got sucked into the Software Time Wasters Universe. There were several points in the day when I think I should have told myself to STOP! and work on the computer later. But I didn't.

Looking at the brighter side of my disastrous day, my computer is ready to go. Today I have some obligations in the evening but I have ALL day to get back to work. Developmental Education and the Millennial Generation, here I come.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

No NaBloPoMo for Me

I have participated in NaBloPoMo twice. It was always worth it, although I believe the resulting posts were not always all they could have been.

This year? I just can't do it. I have too much on my proverbial plate. However, I did think I would try to do something a little different. You see, I am trying something new. I am self-binding. And while that does conjure up an image for me that is less than pleasant, it is actually an attempt to create some space in my life... space that The Internet is taking up. The author of the article, Stop Your Search Engines, defines self-binding as...

"intentionally creating an obstacle to behavior I was helpless to control, much the way Ulysses lashed himself to his ship's mast to avoid succumbing to the Sirens' song..."

(3 November 2009)

I've announced this on Twitter and Facebook so many of you will already know about this. However, here at Life, the Universe and Everything, I thought I might take some of my Internet-allowed time to share a little bit of my experience as I go along.

Regular readers (Hi there, all 5 of you!) will know that I am really, truly, FINALLY trying to write my masters' project. Life had thrown a few obstacles in my path. I have thrown a few obstacles in my path. But the countdown is on. I need to start knocking out chapters... like NOW, baby. But I am addicted to my social networking time. I had discussed this with my sister-in-law and when she read the article, she forwarded it to me. I don't have the right computer (a Mac) to install the program that it mentions, called Freedom, which lets you tell the computer when NOT to let you use the Internet. However, I do have a removable wireless card for my laptop, which is a long, embarrassing story of a woman who was so anxious to order her new computer that she accidentally deselected the internal wireless card during the ordering process.

The good news, though, is that allows me to hand over my wireless card to my husband at 10 a.m. and retrieve it from him at 8 p.m. These are somewhat random hours... it gives me time to do a little hanging out on Twitter with some of the bestest people ever in the morning and also attempts to make me available to my family for the afternoon and evening--without a laptop in between us.

Yesterday was Day One of my Ulysses-inspired experiment and things actually went very well. I did a little bit of writing on my project but the most beneficial aspect of it all was that I interacted with my family in a more meaningful way. It is really quite embarrassing to admit this but I am really glued to the computer for hours and hours a day. Homework was completed with less frustration and no raised voices... bedtime happened with less bother.... I felt better about myself to be honest. I did experience some anxiety about an hour or two before 8 p.m. but I think that was more due to worries about the writing process for my project than withdrawal from Web 2.0.

Over the next month, I am planning on giving updates... on my writing progress... on the dynamic at home... anything related to this bid at reclaiming space in my life. I'll see you around the 'verse... before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m., Monday through Friday!