Is That All There Is?

Astronauts Pete Conrad and Al Bean completed their lunar exploration goodness and saddled up for home on November 24th, 1969 – looking at each other before departure, they asked:

“Is That All There Is?”

When I look at the vast and growing landscape of personal electronics and look at my own backpack and home office I too sometimes wonder:  Is that all there is?

How many of you have “reached F” on the having gadgets meter?  While many (particularaly men) would think that you could never possibly have enough gadgets the fact is I believe I’m at saturation.  My wife recently asked me what I’d like for Christmas this year.  Instantly my brain engaged and I found myself in “Red Ryder B-B Gun” dream-sequence-land mode, where there is a scratchy film grain to everything, the colors are a bit more stark and the action moves just a bit more fast and furious than usual but  alas – I didn’t see a giant pile of new and cool personal technology at all.  I wasn’t looking for an accessory for my iPod.  I didn’t need another jump drive to carry data to and fro.  I wasn’t looking for a new snappy-cool microphone with which to make more great podcasts. My vision was decidedly clear.

The image I saw was of a simple white, black-handed clock, clicking slowly, with me in a lawn chair, a tasty, frozen umbrella drink in one hand, my feet propped up and a thumb raised proudly on the other hand.  DOWN TIME.  That’s right.  All I want for Christmas this year is some unabashed time to do NOTHING.  But how do you convey that to your wife, much less in sign language?  Ha!

As one who never backs down from a challenge I told her that I’d make a list of what I’d like for Christmas, thereby pulling the ultimate “give me more time to think about it” trump card which allowed me to scribe this blog post.  So now, the time comes where I ask – how does one ASK for down time?  To be put into a bubble of uninterupted jovial bliss for Christmas?  Can that be accomplished?

I think it can and is probably something that should come more than once a year at the holidays.  We ALL are so completely “jacked in” to the Internet, cell phones, schedules for children and friends that I think we have completely forgotten not only what “down time” means, but how to actually scoot into the ability to LET YOURSELF HAVE SOME.  So tell me the truth, believers of the blog-does-all – How do I not only ask for the reclusive symphonic nothingness of downtime, but also plan regular visits to it to help balance a life that has become 1000mph almost every day of the week?  I’m certain that with your help I can find the answer to my original query – “Is That All There Is?”

Written by: Mike Wilkerson

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