I’m in a difficult place at the moment. I have a deep-seated need to be right, which is – naturally – the counterpoint to an utter hatred of being proved wrong. I find myself, two weeks into my Lenten resolutions, having to reconcile the two – and the fence is an uncomfortable place to sit.
As I thought might be the case, the giving-up-wine has wobbled somewhat. In my defence, it was only one night; the third time in 2 and a half years that Mr Book and I went out together in the evening, and it took an unedifyingly small struggle for me to decide that I wanted to share a bottle of wine with him after all, dammit. My weak will-power and I are back on the wagon, though, and there’s still a month to go.
I have, however, stuck faithfully to my no-Twitter rule. Herein lies my dilemma. I knew that I spent too much time glued to my Tweetbot app, thumb curved claw-like to refresh, and refresh, and refresh. In all my Twitapologetics I have undoubtedly been sincere and even right: it connected me to the outside world at a time when I was housebound and rather lonely, it kept me up-to-date with current affairs and campaigns, it was stimulating and fun and challenging.
The nagging little voice in my head who whispered that I was spending too much time reading other people’s thoughts, that it was taking my attention away from my children and my everyday also had a point, though, and I’m forced to admit that it was a good one.
What has really surprised me is how much more relaxed I am. I had been increasingly feeling that Twitter’s incessant voices and calls for attention were starting to crush me with the weight of injustice and misery I read about by the hour every day, and that even when I wasn’t on Twitter, I was preoccupied and stressed by the things I’d been reading. Doubtless, it was my fault for giving in to my bleeding-heart-liberal tendencies when choosing whom to follow, but the simple fact remains that I was feeling overwhelmed, and I’m not sure to what purpose. I have tried to convince myself that an extended break from Twitter will allow me to reculer pour mieux sauter, but if I am being scrupulously honest with myself I have to admit that there was precious little sauteing going on in the first place, but rather a prolonged stewing with dubious results.
Perhaps coincidentally, I’ve also turned away from my beloved Radios 4 and 5 in favour of music, and find myself for the first time in very many years not having a clue what is going on beyond the confines of my little family and immediate surrounds.
I can’t quite reconcile myself to a prospect of extended ostrich-dom beyond the end of Lent, seductive though it is. A head in the sand is even less productive than one in a book. It maybe I just need to rethink “productive”…