Originally published on February 25, 2016
I tried something abnormal this morning. I went for a walk without my anchor. It was low on fuel, so I left it in the dock. I felt a slight twinge of anxiety without having my anchor nearby, but I ventured out anyway.
Today was a crisp, brisk, end-of-winter morning, but sunny enough where I could wear my sunglasses in public without looking pretentious. My walk was about a mile in distance round trip.
Normally, my anchor provides sound to my ears, so instead I listened to various snippets of conversation as I passed people by. I heard loud bangs and clangs from large yellow construction vehicles. I said hello to someone I knew along the way and actually heard them say hello back. I heard lots of footsteps of people around me.
Surprisingly, I didn’t miss anything important during my walk, which took about a third of an hour. No one died or got sent to the hospital while my anchor was in the dock. No work crises occurred during my walk demanding my immediate attention. No one liked any of my Twitter posts. No one emailed me.
Most important of all, my brain was subject to 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to process stimuli and let random thoughts float around in my head without the anchor beckoning my attention. It was refreshing.
You know, it’s funny. For over two thousand years, an anchor-less walk was a regular, and frequent, occurrence for the entire world. Yet for some reason, in our current world, anchors seem to be everywhere.