I really enjoy not having Internet. I know that's weird to say as I write in my online journal, but it's true. I had to come to Panera to be able to write in this journal and I am increasingly happy about that.
This is how I came to know the beauty of living without the Internet...
A few weeks ago (almost a month now) AJ and I were supposed to move from seminary housing to a new apartment in Fort Worth. At the very last moment - at 10 pm the night before we were supposed to move, when I had already picked up the keys and unloaded one load of stuff into the new apartment, when we were in the process of loading our cars with another load of stuff - we decided that we really, really didn't want to move. We were sentimental because we have both only lived in one place the whole time we've been in Fort Worth and we'll be moving for good this December anyway. We also actually thought we would miss the seminary community(!) Plus, even though we had asked to see the new apartment several times before we signed the least, we were never able to, so we didn't actually see it until after we had signed the lease. NOT a good idea. Our actual apartment was not near as nice as the model we had seen (of course) and it smelled like old, stale cigarette smoke - like we were going to live in an old Motel 6 room. It was disgusting. And the rent was going to be more expensive. Clearly, we were crazy, so we scrapped that idea and decided to stay right where we were. Well...it wasn't as easy as that. We had to beg seminary housing to let us stay in our current place and we had to bravely go into our apartment's leasing office and break our lease. The Lord was with us through it all though because things went sooo smoothly. We lost a little money in breaking our lease, but it could have been A LOT worse. Texas is definitely on the side of the landlord when it comes to lease laws. We were so blessed and so thrilled to be staying where we are. We have a new found love and appreciation for our little seminary home!
Late that night when we were still discussing the ramifications of not moving, a few of our neighbors came over to tell us bye and give us a (half eaten :) cake. So, we got to share the news that we weren't moving and it kind of turned into a celebration that made us even happier that we weren't moving!
One of the consequences of deciding not to move the night before moving day is that ALLLLL of our stuff in our ENTIRE house was already packed up in boxes and we had switched services on ALL our utilities and our mail. As soon as we decided not to move I started calling utility companies to notify them not to turn off our service or switch it to the new address. Some utility companies have 24 hours help lines and some I had to call first thing the next morning. Most of the utility companies were understanding and it was no problem, but Reliant and AT&T gave us some trouble. I had a showdown with Reliant where they threatened to leave us without electricity for 3 days. They told me that it was not within their power to cancel a termination of service order, but that they would try and that I would know if it worked by whether or not my lights came on at the end of the day! I was really not happy about that and I let them know. And then I guess it was within their power to cancel the termination order...because our lights never went off :)
Now to get to the Internet part: AJ talked to AT&T several times and every time they said they would reconnect our Internet right away. They never did. So we went about 4-5 days without Internet. Finally after hours on the phone with out-sourced employees (accents!) we got it back, but then our router wasn't working and that was going to require even more hours on the phone. So, we decided to try life without the Internet.
What I learned in those 4-5 days without Internet is that it is great! I have a tendency to waste time on the Internet - reading blogs, etc or being OCD about checking my email. Now, when I'm at home and I have free time (which is a lot more this summer), the Internet is not an option. I love it! I only check my email at work (3x a week) or if I go somewhere like Panera. I find it very freeing. The Internet can consume your life if you let it and I really like not being so dependent on it. I think constant access to the Internet makes me impatient as well. It really isn't necessary to "google" something the minute you think of it. It can wait. Go read a book.
- Life without the Internet