Hoo-boy, I am so glad that they didn’t burn the sugarcane yesterday. They burn the cane in the wee hours of the morning, and I know they’ve burnt before I ever get out of bed. I have a sinus headache, my body aches, and there’s just a weirdness about it all. I thought maybe it was just me, but other people say the same thing. They have been burning for months now.
But yesterday they didn’t burn, and I had a nearly perfect day. I made all the stop-lights on my way downtown to take a course. When I got out of the car at the UH Maui campus, the salt air was pristine with a gentle breeze blowing. I had a spring in my step. I just never, ever feel this way when they burn cane, because the smoke is so full of toxins. Not at all what I expected when I moved Maui, let me tell you.
Anyway, I was down at the campus taking an I-pad course. A number of years ago at a writers conference they told us the best way to accomplish our goals was to limit our screen time. For years I have dutifully spent hardly any time watching television. I watch maybe two movies a week, and other than that I work. The only way to write screenplays, market screenplays and sell them, is to keep your butt in the seat. That’s not my line, I stole it from Neil Simon. But it’s true.
I also dutifully avoided getting caught up in having to have the newest technology. For one thing, I just didn’t have the time to put into the learning curves. I didn’t get a BlackBerry. I didn’t get an iPhone. And the purpose of this new iPad was so I could dictate my blog posts and emails, because my elbow is shot from typing all these years. Well I have to tell you, now I know why they called them CrackBerries. When you have a tiny screen sitting on the counter- top that’s on at all times, the pull to check emails and go online is enormous. I will glance up, and 90 minutes will be proof! Gone.
I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been feeling like I spend more time with my inboxes than I do with the people in my life. Then I started this blog, and every morning I have to wade through and eliminate all of the German and porn site spam associated with it. Somehow these people just track you down. It’s disheartening. One more inbox to keep cleaned out. 20 minutes that I won’t be relaxing on the porch reading a novel.
Did you know that in the 1950s the government was actually worried that people were going to have too much leisure time? With all of the time-saving devices like washing machines and dishwashers, and cars to take people places, and lawnmowers to mow their lawns, people were getting just a little bit too leisure-minded for their own good. I am the last person to discuss conspiracy theories or government mind control, but you have to wonder… I mean, how much leisure does ANYONE have now? I am really just joking, but there are days when it gives me pause. I envy the older generation that just doesn’t have to bother with computers, email etc. Our parents (Mike’s and mine) simply refuse, and they have all kinds of leisure time. They call up the travel agent and do it the old-fashioned way instead of sitting online booking their own airline reservations. They get on the phone and have a conversation if they want to talk to someone, instead of waiting to see if an email that went out into the ether actually reached it’s destination. What a concept. My mother asks me how many movies I’ve seen lately, and I say none. She’s 78 and she goes to the movies every week…do we see a pattern here?
This isn’t at all how I pictured spending my time when I moved to Maui–breathing sugarcane smoke and cleaning out inboxes. Can’t remember the last time I went to the beach. Yesterday was a crystal-clear perfect day, and I spent three hours in a classroom learning the latest technology, along with 20 other very baffled people.
I used to know what leisure was. I just haven’t figured out how to get it back.
How about you?
Got the Beach Blues…
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As always, I’m here reading along, even if I don’t always reply. =) I’m an internet addict, and I don’t say that lightly. I really would like to learn to control my habits better and get more writing done. I’m working on it! Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” gave me a lot of good advice, and I hope to get better soon. I hope you find a way to add more leisure to your life, even if it just means a forced hour in your schedule to go over to Tavares Beach with a chair and a book to relax for a while. Look at your life objectively as outsiders do. You live on Maui. No, really. YOU LIVE ON MAUI! Enjoy it! Find a way to enjoy it more at the very least. Make a pilgrimage to the top of Haleakala to watch the sun rise or set if that might help. Spend the hundred bucks to do the submarine ride out of Lahaina so you can be reminded of the amazing sea life lurking right there in the water. Nature is calling you to come back! =)
You are SO right, Sean. Nature is calling me. I tend to live in suspension–as soon as I get this project done…as soon as this project sells…and before we know it, life will be over. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 Aloha, Jamaica