My brain is convinced that not having home internet access right now is my hugest life issue. That a lot of these hard parts would be made easier with the salve of Skype conversations with loved ones, familiar entertainment, and a world of homeschooling resources at my fingertips.
But you know what? It turns out my largest perceived difficulty at present is not without its advantages.
#1. Less time lost on social media
I have What’s App and Facebook on my phone, so I’m able to message family and friends, even if we can’t have actual voice-to-voice or face-to-face conversations. (No internet also means no home phone – they come hand in hand here.) The data plan for my mobile service only allows me to check Facebook – not to actually click on any further links that require an internet connection. No videos. No articles. Even pictures are slow to load so I often don’t wait for them. Umm, wow! I get through checking Facebook a LOT faster! Even if I wanted to go down a rabbit trail, I couldn’t.
#2. Literally no distractions
Almost everyone I know in the world is asleep while I go about my day. I have a window of time when I wake up and in the evenings when I exchange live messages with people, but otherwise, no one is awake to send me messages or enticing dings and alerts. So, we have a general plan for our day…and that is exactly what we do. With time to spare. We even have time to read and play and just sit with each other. Maybe a little too much some days…but whatev. I’ve been going through this whole “Hands Free Mama” revolution and aiming to be fully present with my children instead of constantly in and out of a digital world. Well, my new life just kicked that whole endeavor up a notch.
#3. No guilt
My personality is such that I constantly feel like there is something else I should be doing. I should be working on this or looking into this or planning for this or calling this family member or arranging to see this friend. It’s all good stuff, but I am amazed at how freeing it feels to just know what I have in front of me right now is my only responsibility. It’s literally all I can do, and maybe all along, was all I was supposed to be doing.
#4. Reliance on new friends
We’ve met some people. Some fellow teachers and their families who we saw often in the couple of weeks we spent together in hotels. A couple of neighbors. Some people at our church. And even though new friendships are hard when you’re in the process of mourning far away, dear ones, they’re necessary. We need to put energy into forming new relationships here, both for our own enjoyment and sanity, and also because that’s why God sent us to this new land. A woman I barely know let me hang out in her flat while she was out so I could use her internet connection for planning homeschool units and checking emails. Another couple extended the use of their place to use their internet, and would like to have us for dinner while we’re at it. A fellow football-loving couple has invited us over to watch the game this weekend because they also have NFL Game Pass and the blessing of home internet. It’s forcing us out of our protective bubble of an apartment, where I might stay forever if I actually had this desired internet connection.
Hmmm. So, lack of internet. Difficult? Yes. Disadvantage?….