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Friday, March 1, 2013

Life at the beach, no plan needed



 Walking the beach in solitude, me and the dog and the surf, a hundred yards to my front is an older couple, walking the beach in solitude. A few hundred yards behind me a guy is jogging with his dog, shortly he’ll pass me, we’ll wave, maybe trade some pleasant saying and he’ll jog on in solitude. I have no plan, no need for a plan. I do have an objective, to walk at least an hour, but no plan, no destination, no great purpose. The temperature is pleasant, the sea breeze clam, I entertain myself by trying to discern whether the tide is rising or falling.
Going to the beach house is escapism, full escape is no longer possible, with the ever present internet, the world insists on crowding my life. Many find comfort in this connectivity. I find it a manacle of control, shackled to command. My first Beeper was assigned to me by my employer. It was passed around among a small group of employees that had to maintain 24/7 availability. I had to remain sober at Saturday night parties. I had to be ready to get up and go to work at 2 in the morning. This left me with a bad impression from the start of connectivity. Technology advanced and the connectivity became an unbreakable tether, eventually I experienced the boss calling me at 10 Sunday morning, after a half hour talk I had an assignment due at start of business Monday morning. My laptop had access to the corporate data base and I would spend Sunday afternoon digging through data. I was well paid and the boss would allow comp time, but I still felt chained to a command structure, with no possibility of escape.
I no longer have the required corporate connectivity, now my manacles are voluntary, self imposed with a monthly fee. When I walk the beach I leave the cell phone at the beach house, if the world really needs me, it will have to leave a message and wait.
There was a time when hiking the Rocky Mountains, or going to a Gulf coast beach, allowed for real escapism from the minutia of useless information. Once I returned to civilization it was quickly realized that nothing was lost, I was no less informed. Instead I was relaxed and ready for the relentless barrage of triviality, this short escape was much like a mental reboot.
When I return to the beach house I will look up information about the local tide to check if I got it right. I will look up the time of moon rise, if any meteor showers are predicted, and check the weather report. I will not be reading current events, no political news, nor will I check the stock market, I will maintain a blissful ignorance with my soul free of the latest Big-Important-News. I will not watch CNN or Fox News; I will be reading on the sun deck.
I do not have a plan. Planning can wait till I return home.

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