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Lately, I’ve been getting up in the morning (often hours after I awake), usually about 7 a.m., and going straight to my laptop (although most days I take Princess out for her walk, first, unless I’ve convinced my husband to do it for me). Of course, any overnight e-mail gets read through and/or dumped, then it’s on to Facebook. I’m starting to feel a little ashamed, especially considering how much time I spend with FB. It’s NOT that I am addicted…really! (Yeah) It’s just that the chain of posts and replies starts to mount, particularly because I play, (here is my confession) Mafia Wars. (My son Matt made me do it) Yes, I am Mamma Calhoun, and have progressed through the levels and plied my trade in New York, Cuba, Moscow, and now Bangkok. I understand that Las Vegas is next…how much more time will be swallowed up in doing “business,” “fighting,” and “gifting?” Because of a depression episode late last year (I am Bi-Polar II…more on that at a later date), I withdrew for a few weeks. I managed to survive without almost any computer-related activities, (or any other kind), but mainly because I had become almost completely uncommunicative anyway, and didn’t miss it.

All this to say that as the hours just sitting on the couch with my computer are mounting up, the embarrassment aspect about it is too. When I’m asked “What did you do today?” how do I answer? Do I say I parked myself on the couch, and except for bathroom breaks, and occasionally paying attention to the dog and her needs, and eating a piece of fruit or two (while sitting at the computer), I just sat with my laptop and basically participated in a lot of idle communication and nonsense? And should I add that the TV is on while I’m doing it, so that adds a bit of “culture” to my life, or that I sometimes listen to music instead of watching/listening to TV? Where does all that fit in with what did you DO today? Perhaps I should just say “nothing,” and walk away red-faced. (That’s one way to get some exercise.)

Some mind-power is involved, though (this is my rather weak rationalization): I do the NYT crossword every morning, plus the Acrostic or second Sunday puzzle on Sunday mornings. Does that count as a legitimate activity? Since my mother died as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease, I hold on to the data that says keeping your mind sharp and active is possibly a preventative. This “holding on” doesn’t always work for me, though, because my Mom was about as mentally sharp and active as anyone I’ve ever known. Go figure…

So in the final (for now) analysis I must resolve to actually DO something, hopefully of a physical nature, that I can hold up to others as a valid contribution to “paying my own way” through this life. Oh, and I should feel like that is somehow valuable – to myself and others, though judging by my current activities that is not the prime focus of what I do. Maybe I should read more – generally my bedtime activity – or walk more, or spend more time writing (so now you’re saying, “God forbid!”). Perhaps I should clean house, as I struggle to make a place for myself on the couch, or look for a clean fork with which my husband can eat his frozen dinner meal. (He says he likes them and doesn’t mind…poor dear.) But doing all that would not fit into my mantra: “A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.” So maybe my mantra should change – something like this: “An overstuffed e-mail in-box is a sign of a sad, pitiful, couch-potato life.” Hmmm…doesn’t just roll off the tongue like the other. What’s a couch potato to do? Think I’ll Google it and find out.

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