Today is Sunday. On Sunday evenings I often turn on the TV, tune in to my favorite re-runs, and drop out on the couch to watch them.
While I’m watching TV, I get out my notebook and calendar and look at the week ahead of me. I decide what I aim to accomplish in the next seven days. I often make a list of things to do during the week.
Of course, I lie awake until the wee hours of Monday morning, thinking about all things I’ve planned to start within a few hours.
Today I changed my routine. I turned off the TV.
I have decided I will channel my inner hippie next week. I’m going to follow Timothy Leary’s famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) advice from a speech he gave at a meeting of 30,000 hippies at the Human Be-In in 1967.
That’s right. I’m going to Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out. But not like I usually do. I’m changing course this week.
Don’t panic. I’m not going psychedelic or dropping acid. I’m just turning off my TV and my Facebook account.
Although Leary is usually quoted as encouraging the use of drugs to turn on, tune in and drop out, he was explaining a series of steps in personal development. In his 1983 autobiography, Flashbacks, he said he was often misinterpreted about the drug use. As always, people only hear what they want to hear, then repeat it as they think they heard it.
I’m going to use Leary’s explanation from his autobiography to further my personal development. Here’s an excerpt from Flashbacks, 1983.
“Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. “Tune in” meant interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. “Drop out” suggested an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. “Drop Out” meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean “Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity”
I figure it’s best that I turn off all my electronic communication devices and deactivate my social network account to become sensitive, interact harmoniously and discover my singularity. I get pretty distracted by all that stuff. I don’t want my neural and genetic equipment to get messed up.
I often start my morning by checking my email, reading from all manner of news sources, then looking at Facebook, then getting ticked off by what I read earlier in the news, surfing the web for other news articles…important stuff like how to lose 10 lbs. in 3 days…getting back on Facebook, forwarding jokes from my email, looking for telecommute and “work at home” jobs, seeing what Angie and Brad or the Kardashians are up to, then going again to Facebook and hitting the “share” button on funny or sentimental postings, etc., etc., etc.
And, before I know it, I’ve wasted the whole day and even stayed awake well into the next one. Once I finally go to bed, I turn on TV news programs to help me drift off to sleep. The arguing, sniping, and backbiting on TV upsets me so I get back out of bed to take my blood pressure pill, then stop by my computer to see if any of my Facebook friends have anything new to say on their status updates.
Then, I start the whole process again the next morning.
Yes. I’m crazy. I’m also quite unproductive. I’m falling farther and farther behind in working on projects that I really care about and that would be beneficial to me if I actually finished them.
Projects like finding a full-time, well-paid job. Projects like planting the vegetable garden that I hired plowed two weeks ago or cleaning my yard so that the city doesn’t give me a fine for being a slob or clearing out my closet so I can find my spring and summer clothes. Just little things, you know….
So, I think it is well past time for me to Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out. I’m doing it for a week and I’ll just see what happens. I have a feeling that I’ll have severe withdrawal symptoms.
I will use coffee and books to sedate myself.
I’ll catch up with Angie and Brad next week. But if something big happens with the Kardashians, will somebody please text me?