If I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me,
I could pay off the telephone company and finally get the high speed they’ve been promising to these backroads of Vermont.
But until then, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about remaining sane while relying on the ever-so-slow dial-up connection:
#1 Don’t use dial up~
Save activities that demand high speed internet for your weekly visit to the wired cafe (or the school parking lot where many of my neighbors can be found on their laptops.) If you don’t have your own laptop, visit the library. To maximize your time in the “connected” world, keep a folder (virtual or paper) with all of your wi fi needs as they arise in the moment.
#2 Relish in the convenience of your own home~
Realize that you don’t have to get dressed, comb your hair or buy a really expensive coffee when you work from home. When a page is loading, go shuffle off to your own kitchen in your favorite sweatshirt to make that free cup of jo.
#3 Develop the habit of regular email communication~
If your friends and business folks are accustomed to contacting you by email, they won’t expect to reach you via phone–and thus won’t complain that your line is always busy. (On the upside, you’ll never interrupted by a phone call when you’re working on line.)
Like I mentioned above, when a page is loading, go do something else: make some lunch, hang up the laundry, put the laundry away, file your nails, clean your desk–anything that will distract you from the frustration of waiting.
#5 Multi-task some more~
Work with several “pages” at once so that while one is loading you can read or write on another, thereby maximizing your productivity if your laundry is already done and someone else made your lunch. Special note: Resist the urge to repeatedly click a page that won’t open. Why? Because then you will be forced to wait for mutiple loadings of the same page without being able to do anything. (Guess how I’ve learned this one, over and over again!)
#6 Surrender to Dial-Up as a Spiritual Practice~
Don’t expect anything else. It is what it is. If you want the conveniences of the world, move back to civilization. Allow the “waiting” to be an exercise of patience. Practice your breathing. Do some eye exercises. Shake out your hands. Be here now while you watch the spinning wheel. Instead of cursing it, allow its rainbow colors to balance your chakras. (If all else fails, time to take a break!)
7. Have fun!
If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? This is your life, and the only one you get. Find another way to meet your internet needs. Share an office space downtown. Make friends with someone who has high speed and sit in her driveway. Be creative! Remember why you live where you do. Take a walk and find that place of gratitude for the “disconnected” life… and breathe… until that day that they FINALLY find a way to connect us all to highspeed.
#8-21? Did I miss anything?
Do tell if you have dial-up sanity measures of your own to share (or let me know which ones of mine work best for you.)