Analog time

Image: Annie Spratt

I was proud of myself. Last night, I finished all my work here on the internets in time and went to pick Rory up from preschool. I walked in the classroom and… didn’t see Rory.

A slight feeling of panic was followed by the warm welcome of the teacher, “Her grandma picked her up,” she said with a confused smile.

Damn… I totally forgot. My mother-in-law had planned on picking Rory up and taking her and her cousin to a movie. As I face-palmed myself and walked out into the parking lot, I thought…

Cool… I have another hour or so.

Immediately, my thoughts went to the computer. If you’re like me, the computer is an extension of your fingers. When your hands aren’t busy, they just gravitate toward something digital. A keyboard. A phone. Whatever glowing screen of choice is your poison — you know what I mean.

For some reason, I took notice of this urge. When things are knee-jerk like this, they cause concern. When they become automatic and unexamined, eventually I start to take notice.

I put my foot down this time…
Nope. Not gonna do it, damnit. It’s analog time.

Analog time. I only had an hour. Sure, I could have read some bookmarked Medium posts, checked Facebook (again), edited some of my posts — a plethora of options were for the choosing.

But if we never cut ourselves off, we’ll never turn off.

We who spend our livelihoods on digital have to do this. We have to set some limits for analog time.

Get out of your head — out of the cloud — and back in your body and the world around you.

Get back into your life. Fix the fence. Hand-wash some dishes. Read a physical book. Throw on a record (yes, a real record). Talk to someone. In person. Hand-grind some coffee and drink it outside on the porch, looking at the sky. Whatever suits your fancy — you know what to do.

Analog time, friends. I know it’s an overplayed theme these days, but it’s that way for a reason.

Our souls are screaming for it, as a culture. 
It’s time we listen.

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[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe via email to his updates and exclusive content, click here.]