As this week bleeds into Labor Day weekend in the U.S., and I head out for another camping weekend, I turn back to Barbara Brown Taylor’s third piece of advice for becoming comfortable in the darkness: Unplug.
Unplug all your devices at night, instructs Taylor. That includes phone chargers, printers, digital clocks, tablets, laptops, coffeepots – everything in your home that glows, flashes or shines.
“How did I ever mistake them for the dark? One by one I unplug them all… When all the lights are off, there is still plenty of light left, both inside and outside of me.”
I have an “easy out” for this one, as rustic camping forces reliance on flashlights (or the more practical head lamps) and, perhaps, a fire. No need to unplug, because your phone will just die as it roams interminably anyway. So I’m grateful for that, because turning off everything in my house sounds impractical. I need my clock, because I need my alarm (I guess I shouldn’t, but I can’t help that right now). I do, however, always turn off my phone and leave it in another room when I’m sleeping, and we don’t have any other electronics in the bedroom (no TV, and we both leave our laptops in the office). I wish I had a coffeemaker in my bedroom… but we actually use a french press, so I guess I’m in the clear there, too! I sleep best in the dark, though the light pollution from living near downtown Chicago creeps through the cracks.
Okay, so that’s easy. But what does it mean to unplug as a babyloss mom? For me, it means trying, I mean really trying, not to Dr. Google. You know what I mean. Stopping the incessant and obsessive checking on symptoms, on conditions, on causes and cures. It means talking to real women about their experiences, but remembering that I am not them, they are not me, and we don’t know each other’s full medical history. It means arming myself with information, but then meeting with a doctor I trust. Even he reminded me, this week, that the internet isn’t the best place to go for information. I might find stories, but the chances of those medical conditions being identical to mine are essentially nil. I have done a lot of research on my abruption, and it’s time for me to let go. To unplug. To remember that no matter how much I study and stress myself out with “what if” and “is this me?” it will have NO EFFECT on what actually happens. In my case, Dr. Google causes me stress, and that in itself could damage my health. At some point, I need to let it go for a while.
So I’m going to try to unplug from Dr. Google. I think I’ve exhausted every possible website anyway. Is that cheating? 🙂