Snowy Steinbach: returning from a week in paradise, Derek and I found ourselves faces with weather that fell below the -35 mark, and on pulling into our driveway, we discovered that the snow almost covered the bottom of our front door, since so much had fallen. It was a bittersweet experience to put away the flip-flops and the sunscreen, and to pull our our parkas. The "sweet" came in returning home, the ineffable joy of easing one's soul back into the familiar: the feeling of crawling into your bed that night, and knowing that while it may not be the most comfortable place you slept that week, it is definitely the best. And yet, there's that bitter, bitter cold. Derek and I are hardly winter people; we don't do very well once the snow starts falling and cold winds start blowing. When it hits -5, I'm bundled in long johns and wool socks just to grab the mail. Those eight days we spent away from the winter were, in fact, paradise, and even thinking about going outside now leaves me shivering.
However, I'm not here to discuss the weather, or even our vacation - though that will come with an explosion of photos and gushing details... as soon as I figure out how to get the photos off my camera. The topic for today is actually "why I didn't post yesterday". Today, I'm taking a step, albeit a small one, in letting you see past the surface, past the house and into the heart. I'll be sharing something of myself, to help you understand the person behind the blog.
The reason I didn't blog yesterday is because my darling, wonderful husband was at work until after 6:30pm due to some unforeseen complications at work. When he did get home, we only had about an hour to eat supper, Skype with his parents, and relax a bit before our home was flooded with the cheerful - and loud - presence of our friends, for our regularly scheduled "pizza night". They actually stayed until after I went to bed: a blissful collapse at 11:30pm.
Here's where some may be asking, "Why didn't you blog before Derek came home?" And that's the purpose of the post: our computer actually had a password on it that only Derek knows... because I had gotten to a point where the computer was completely overrunning my life. The problem I faced was that the computer was becoming my life; I'd boot it up in the morning when I first got up, and only turn it off when I went to bed. My relationships were suffering, and the things that I ought to be doing - and even the things that I wanted to do! - were pushed aside to either the very last moment, or never. Suffice to say, I had a problem. Though, if I'm honest, that sentence should be, "I have a problem."
There's a lot of discussion in the world right now about computers, video games, TV, etc. Many parents are finding that their teenagers are being sucked into the world of "screens" and that there's nothing that can be done. Some people even go so far to say that all screens are bad, outlawing them completely. In fact, it was even suggested to me that we remove the computer completely from our home in order to combat the issue. Clearly, we decided against that route, knowing that not only do we need the computer to communicate with our friends and family who live far away, but since the issue lay with me, and not Derek, it would be unfair to cut him off as well. Besides, as a couple, we agreed that we don't believe that it is the screens themselves that are the issue. While yes, we believe that moderation is important (and we've concluded that our future children won't have all kinds of handheld electronics until they're old enough to pay for them themselves), we believe that moderation is important. For us, video games are fun, the internet is an excellent educational resource, and movies are great dates. But it's when it begins to take over that it needs to be addressed and we need to find a median where the electronics are our tools - and not the other way around.
I suppose in a way, that's what this post is about: less about my problem, which seems to be under control for the moment, and more about my thoughts. In a world so dominated by this electronic industry, it's very important to understand where you stand on the issues and to know why you stand there. Conversation, and research are vital tools in understanding your opinions and thoughts. And for people like me who struggle with an addictive personality, it's so, so important to have guidelines and systems in place (that work!) to help prevent the screens from becoming the latest addiction.
For some great information (in a hilarious format!) on video games and their affects, check out Penny Arcade's Extra Credit.