I was chatting with a friend on IM when I lost my Internet connection.
“Not again!” I said to myself. I was irritated. My ISP should be more reliable. I shut down my computer and turned off the modem. I waited impatiently for a few minutes, and then I turned everything back on. This usually fixes the problem. But this time it didn't. There was still no Internet connection.
I rang my ISP on the phone. “I want to report a fault,” I finally said to a tech who called himself Patrick.
“We need to check some things on the 'back-end'. If your connection is not restored in five hours, you will be contacted by a second level of support,” said Patrick.
“OK,” I said. I KNEW it was a problem on their end. They were doing upgrades, and there had been a big storm. But I still was annoyed.
But five hours wasn’t that bad. Surely I could live for five hours without the Internet. I mean, let's talk about first world problems.
Besides, I really should be unplugged from the Internet while writing my novel. I opened a new Word document, and I wrote for an hour. Then I read a book to Five, and I gave him a bath. We played a game. I made dinner.
Anxiously, I checked the time. It had been five hours. I was hopeful as I tried to connect to the Internet. But I still couldn’t go online.
I was frustrated. I rang my ISP again. A tech named Chaneera and I tried power cycles and pings. Nothing worked. After a while, Chaneera gave up. He insisted that there were no faults on their end. I had an individual problem. And it would be six days before they could send a service tech to my house to fix it.
“SIX DAYS?” I said incredulously. “It’s definitely a problem on my end? Do I need to get a new modem?”
“Well, maybe,” said Chaneera doubtfully.
SIX DAYS without the Internet?
I had work. I had bills to pay. I needed to do "important research" for my new book. I needed to publish a post on my blog. We talk to Five’s grandparents every day on Skype. And it was the school holidays. I would go mad without a home Internet connection.
I was upset. Maybe there was an area problem that had not been reported. My ISP never wants to admit when there is an outage. Even though it was late (9pm), I rang friends in the village who have the same ISP.
“Is your Internet working?” I asked.
“Yes,” said my friends.
I was let down. It was an individual problem. I sulked on the couch while Adam watched Top Gear on TV. Boring! I decided to read a book in the bedroom.
The next morning Five and I talked to his grandparents on the phone. I watched the morning news on TV. We went to the shops, and I bought a newspaper. We went to the library. We went to the bank.
I felt a sense of relief. There was no pressure to keep up with the constant hum of the Internet. I didn’t need to read blogs or check Facebook and Twitter. I could drink my coffee and daydream. I could give my full attention to Five. I planned to weed the garden and finish my novel.
My life seemed less urgent. I felt calm and purposeful. I was motivated. After our errands, Five and I went home. We ate lunch. Then I sat at my desk, and I flipped through the notes for my novel. I opened a new Word document on my computer, and I began to type.
Then I noticed that the computer was connected to the Internet. Somehow, magically, I could go online.
If this story had a moral, I would tell you that I was disappointed. But I wasn’t. New opportunities for procrastination lured me to the meadows of the Internet. And I hurried to heed their siren call.