Living Offline

I seem to have more of an offline life lately than I do online, which is a throwback for me. I didn’t get a computer or get on the internet until 2007, but they came at a time of upheaval in my life (my mother was dying and my life mate/soul mate was declining) and they proved to be lifesavers. Well, mindsavers. I needed something to occupy my mind to keep from giving in to foolish worry (foolish because there was nothing I could do about either situation except to be available when needed), and learning has always been my forte. So I learned what I could about using computers, navigating the internet, blogging, social networking, and everything else that goes to making up an online life.

Origidesknally, I was gifted with a year of the internet, and after checking out libraries and finding other interesting sites such as the Internet Movie Database, I wondered how I could possibly use this unexpected gift. I figured that by the end of that first year, either I would find something to do, or I would get rid of it.

It didn’t even take a year, just a few months. Not only did I find something to do, I found a life, excitement, friends, even love of a sort. (I loved blogging from the first time I posted an article and understood what blogging was all about.) I also found support and encouragement. I don’t know how I would have dealt with the death of my life mate/soul mate if it weren’t for the bereft I met because of opening myself to the blogosphere.

Now, almost three and a half years after his death, I’m looking around my offline world, and I’m finding life, excitement, friends, even love of a sort. (I love walking with the local Sierra Club.) I no longer seem to need the screen of a computer to filter the worst of my worry or pain. I see the world through the excited eyes of child rather than the angst-ridden eyes of a bereft and lonely woman.

Parts of my offline life are hard, of course. I’m looking out for my 96-year-old father, dealing with problematic family members, and experiencing occasional upsurges of grief, but what isn’t hard is easy. Fun, even.

Instead of fearing the rest of my life alone, now I’m looking forward to seeing what I will make of myself.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

There Really Is Life Offline — If You’re a Goose

It seems as if my entire life is lived online now,  and as enticing as it is to visit friends on facebook, talk about writing in one of my discussion groups, check my various email addresses for the hundredth time, even I need a break. So, yesterday I went for a picnic at a nearby lake.

This lake seems to be sort of an unofficial wildlife preserve. It’s one of the few bodies of water in the vicinity and it is a popular spot for waterfowl to stop by and rest during their migrations. For us humans, there is always something new to see (or feed). I’ve seen lots of coots, mallards, a few wood ducks, a blue-billed duck, egrets, swans, herons, and geese.

I counted at least six different geese families yesterday, but this particular family (blelow) stood out because of the blonde baby. Maybe geese aren’t as monogamous as they are made out to be!

Seems like an ideal life, doesn’t it? A summer home, a winter home, and swimming in between. There is only one drawback to beeing a goose — no internet.

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