It was a conspiracy.

My laptop stopped working. At first, I was sure it was just a burnt out power cord. But three other power cords from friends’ computers didn’t work. Far from any repair centers, it seemed I had somehow fried the power system in my laptop too. It was four weeks until it would be possible to get it fixed.

At least, I thought, I still had my portable DVD player. But two days later, it froze up in the middle of an exercise video and refused to play anything else. I went through half my collection, hoping one of the DVDs would decide to play. None of them broke the ominous, solid grey on the screen. Frustrated, I tucked the player into my suitcase.

This is not one of those posts about how someone took a purposeful month off from technology, came out better for it, realized how much happier they were, and resolving to limit their access in the future. I had been feeling like perhaps technology was playing too large a role in my life. Like I needed to step back from Facebook and blogging for at time. But I ignored those little whispers and promptings. The truth is, I was forced by divine conspiracy into a month of very limited technology and I spent it kicking and whining.

And then…

… four weeks after my laptop and DVD player stopped working, I was packing up and found it. On a whim, I plugged it in and popped in a DVD.

And it worked. Every last DVD – including all the ones that hadn’t played four weeks ago – suddenly played as if the DVD player had just been unwrapped.

And when I arrived in the Capital City and hurried over to a laptop repair center, they grabbed a generic cord off the shelf, plugged it in, and – while I rambled on about how many cords we’d already tried four weeks ago – looked pointedly at the “charging” light now showing on my laptop.

Four weeks later, after a forced fast, everything was restored to me. Easily. And I’m glad to have it back – even if there is a rather large hole of backlogged work to climb out of.

But I’m returning a bit warily as well.

Because time staring boredly at ceilings made me realize how much time I would’ve wasted on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and blogs.

Because without the constant, gentle stroking of Facebook likes and blog comments my ego took a little nose-dive and self-esteem shouldn’t be based on whether someone hits a little blue word under something you took five seconds to think about before posting.

Because time without writing on this blog or Facebook restored a sense of rich secret to my life. Things happened – deeply beautiful, meaningful things that I did not blog about and found that they were somehow more beautiful because they stayed a secret.

In a sudden silence, I found an inner world that was disordered; unhappy with a quiet it used to embrace and an old friend – stillness – that it was reluctant to face. It took four weeks to settle myself into begin weeding and pruning a garden too long neglected.

I return to this world of words and screens a tad bit reluctantly. For some reason, the saying, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. is running over and over in my head. Because I was sucked into the illusion once and I’m not entirely sure you can return to this e-world without getting sucked in a second time.