New Year Resolutions – mobiles, laptops etc.
It’s always a little sad once Christmas is over and New Years Eve is behind us. Now it’s almost time to pack up the tinsel and baubles and remove the special Christmas decorations from the tree – even though it only seems like yesterday I put them up.
Each decoration holds a special memory of a person, a time or a place, like the old Christmas angel from my childhood or the two elves given to my kids by Father Christmas in David Jones in 1991.
Many people have gone back to work today, there’s a little more traffic on the roads and a few more shops and cafes open for business. Mostly for us mad writers, work continues in some way over the holiday period – deadlines remain in place, confirmation of books going ahead – or not still happens and news of whether or not a book will go to reprint is still there in the waiting bay.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the way mobile phones, iphones, ipads, laptops (the list goes on) are impacting our lives. For my generation and for my adult children, there is no pure holiday ‘no communication’ opportunity any more.
For almost a decade I worked for The Shell Oil Company and I clearly remember being asked (ordered) by my boss’s boss to ‘find him’ (on his family holiday) and ask him to contact the big boss. Later my boss told me he was sitting on the front deck of a holiday house in a very remote place when he saw the young post office assistant peddling his bike fast up the hill towards the house to deliver the telegram. That whole process took me about half a day to first locate and then work out how to contact my boss. These days it would be a simple phone call or text message.
So what I’m saying here is that we never escape the communication, which in some ways is wonderful (in emergencies) but the big question is are we ever totally resting, totally escaping the stresses and pressures of life? The answer is no.
At first I thought it was exciting to be able to contact everyone, no matter where I was – like seeing the cover of a new book when I was holidaying in the Grand Canyon (I remember that well as I’d just sighted my first ever raccoon and here one was sitting on the cover of my book) or doing a final check on a book before it was going to press – from Hong Kong Airport. But now I don’t think it’s so glamorous for any of us.
We share our holiday photos, constant and instant and while that is exciting, it also means we are on our phones and maybe missing out on something that is happening right beside us.
So I’m thinking that I’ll add one more thing to my long list of new year resolutions – turn off my iphone and laptop at a reasonable hour and see how many extra hours I have in the day.
Now it’s back to picking up those stars and glitter, having yet another piece of Christmas cake and getting ready for 2019. Happy New Year to all.