Incommunicado: 24

All I Wanted

When every day presents a new lesson to learn, that’s how you know you’re living from a growth mindset.

Dark LaptopI just spent 24 hours totally unplugged. Incommunicado. No digital means of communication. And let me tell you: It was wonderful! [A little birthday present to myself.]

Although… don’t be fooled. Multiple lessons on multiple levels.

Knowing that I would be out-of-touch for what the world might consider an inordinately lengthy period of time, I worked hard to preempt any communication that would need to happen yesterday. [No surprise there.] I covered all the required bases… even a few not required… and made sure that I provided whatever info I could that others would need in my short absence from the world.

Some responses I hoped to receive from others didn’t come before I unplugged. But not to worry. Nothing critical. All could wait.

Then off to a remote corner of Nebraska… just about as Wyoming-esque as you can get in the corn-and-cow state.

A lake. A fish hatchery. Some trees. Fair amount of wind. Hardly any people. Just what I was hoping for. All I wanted to do was sit outside alone for a few hours.

Incoming Lessons

Sign at the fish hatchery said: Visitors Welcome. Park Here. So I did.

Went for a walk by the ponds. On the other side of the creek comes running a very big, very loud yellow dog. Not happy to see me. No worries. There’s a creek between us. Keep walking.

As with many creeks, turns out there is a bridge. [Although I felt certain the small amount of water was not going to be a deterrence for this dog.]

Dog is now on my side of the creek barking at me. Great! I’m either going to get eaten… or dog and I will be friends. I start talking in my best counselor-voice… the one I use for distraught, sobbing first-graders.

Five minutes and I have talked Rio [turns out that is his name] down from the doggie ledge and we are now buddies. He follows me as I continue through the hatchery, scampering across the sagey brush and trees.

Rio leads me toward a quiet grassy patch of seclusion on the bank of the Rock Creek. I sit in peaceful solitude watching the water and listening to the goldfinches overhead.

Rio returns and lays on the ground in front of me. Then rolls on his back right into my lap… spread-eagle waiting and nudging me to rub his belly. Wet dog all over me! [We have bonded.]

After a handful of minutes, a truck appears on the other side of the creek, stops in front of me and out jumps the Game and Fish warden.

Him: Hi. Is that your vehicle back there?
Me: The blue one? Yes… that’s mine.
Him: What are you doing here today?
Me: [My mind frets.] I’m just taking a day off. Is everything okay?
Him: Well… yea. We just wanted to know where you were.
Me: Thanks. [I feel like I’ve broken the rules.]
Him: Okay then. [And away he goes.]

I stay for a while to enjoy the sun.

To the Lake

Head back down the road to the lake. The day has turned cool and blustery so I eat a bit of lunch in the car. Lean back and close my eyes for a short nap.

When I wake about a half-hour later, two fishermen are loading their boat onto their trailer, eyeing me every few seconds from across the launch parking lot. Eventually, they pack up and drive away, stopping at a silver pick-up a ways down that has been parked alongside the road since I first came in that morning.

Fishermen leave. Silver pick-up U-turns and comes barreling toward me. By now, I’m on my way out when the silver pick-up circles through the parking lot. I can see government license plates and realize they are probably more Game and Fish wardens coming to run me out of the park because I don’t have a valid day pass. [It’s always about the money…]

I smile at the two guys, wave and depart. They follow me down the dirt road for 3 miles and then we each turn opposite directions.

Out there in cyberworld, you might be thinking this was all pretty sketch… that more sinister plans were at work… but no. It was just weird.

The Lesson

Just go with it. Let life take me where it will. Which is actually a good refresher lesson for me now.

Lessons don’t always have to be profound or life-changing. Sometimes, they’re just simple twists that make you see yourself and the world from a different angle. And sometimes, they’re just plain weird. But a lesson all-the-same.

Going Incommunicado: 24 was a gift. The present I received: 73 emails / 4 voice mails / 12 threads of text messages.

What can I say? I’m a rock star.


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