Tom Petty, how right you were…

The waiting is, by far, the hardest part.

At least this weekend, I got to feel like SOME progress was being made on my end. Saturday was spent replacing doors and Sunday was moving boxes into storage. We have a half-ways clean house again, so hopefully we can get it listed soon.

With the box fort conquered and brought to storage in Crossfield, I had some time to have a peek at the house. I was hoping I would be able to get in, and see the framing work that was completed in the basement but it was locked up and a muddy shit show around the back so I was left sadly disappointed.

One thing I noticed out there this time is the quiet. How nice it is to be able to take a minute and hear nothing but the wind blowing. That happens so rarely in Calgary.
Here, there’s always a car driving near by, or the sound of construction. To be fair to Calgary, these are the normal sounds of a city, and they are ones I enjoy from time to time.
But lately, I find my self enjoying the sound of silence more and more.

Because the things that make up my current day to day life are consuming.
Perhaps it’s my phone, always on and always there. Ready for a quick game.
Ready to let me know when there’s a new email. Or text. Or status update.
The internet, full of pictures of cats and funny videos that demand watching.
I have to check Reddit, and my RSS feeds. The news and, again, facebook.
Netflix and torrents of TV shows that have we simply HAVE to keep up on.
Recaps, and discussions.
A steady clip of information.

All these things on all the time.
All these things, and more, designed as quick escapes.
Designed as ways to relax and unwind.

All these things.
Completely and utterly.
Exhausting.

I get that they’re, mostly, necessary.
A function of my job is email connectivity. I have to be able to respond to an email or answer a text.
My days are spent in front of a computer, and the occasional night too. And with that comes surfing, because it’s tough to NOT look.

When I occasionally get forced into dropping off the grid, I love it. It’s one of the most amazing things about a vacation. We carry our phones with us, as they’re handy cameras, but we don’t sit and stare at that 3 inch screen. And I think that’s why the need to drop out of the city hits us so hard when we get back from a vacation.
We’ve spent a week or 10 days at a very slow trickle of data and its refreshing.
And, as I said in my “Live Aloha” post, we always return with the promise that we will keep it up.
I turn off my phone notifications.
I vow to surf the internet less frequently.
We usually end up giving up on a show or 2.
And it always creeps back in.
Suddenly, there’s a new show we HAVE to watch (OMG House of Cards amirite?)
I’m waiting for an “important response” so I turn notifications back on.
It’s a slow day, so I surf the web to pass the time.
And I’m right back where I started.

So, there are rare perfect moments, where I find my self in a bubble of depleted stimuli.
A couple heartbeats while waiting for the bus, when it’s too cold to have my phone out and I’m headed to work early enough that the stream of cars hasn’t really picked up.
The wind in the trees, a couple random flakes darting around the street lights.
And then, just as quick, it’s over. A car comes up the hill, engine chugging and belts squealing.
But in that moment, when it’s just myself and my thoughts I always find myself in awe of the quiet.

snowy-street

I know that a move won’t fix all this.
I know that we’re not going to the middle of nowhere, becoming hermits in the process.
I know that a good movie, a funny post or someones uplifting status can bring happiness with it. We’re not looking to drop out of society.

And, I also know that we will have to work to change our reliance on a never ending stream of collective consciousness.

But in Crossfield, without the background noise that comes with the city I know that, at least sometimes, we can chose to be quiet.

To stop everything.
And just listen to the nothing.

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