Do you find that, no matter what your intentions are, your work schedule increasingly cuts into your online time?

     When was the last time you saw the sky? Less than a week ago? Did you know what it was when you saw it -- without being prompted?

     Do your email friends complain that your obsession with eating and sleeping is lowering your response time and weakening your relationships?

     Welcome to Life Recovery Anonymous. We are men and women who have come together to share our strength and our pain in recovering from our addiction to everything that interferes with that which makes life truly meaningful -- The Internet. We are committed to overcoming our craven dependence on face-to-face contact that pulls us from our duty to answer each and every email; our misguided emphasis on physical building and making that interferes with the daily upgrade of our websites; our painful addictions to food, sleep and fresh air; our weak rationale that we can have "just one hour" with the family. Someday we will *not* do the laundry, we will *not* repair the window, we will *not* answer when our name is called Offline. In the meantime, we support each other in our small victories, and in our defeats.

     My name is Anitra, and I <sob> have a Life!

     This is our program:
  1. We admitted that our lives were out of control: the contents of our closet would not respond to a Directory command, our children would not respond to their URL's, and our spouse would not respond to a Ping. If she did, it hurt.
  2. We came to believe that a Higher Power could restore the order that we, in our human limitations, could not.
  3. We found this Higher Power in the Internet, and surrendered our will to our Higher Power.
    Our Higher Power gave the will back and said we needed two witnesses before it was valid, and we might have an attorney go over the second codicil, it had a loophole big enough to drive Major Domo through.
  4. We made a searching moral inventory of every time we had failed to download the newest upgrade of anything; every time we had willingly logged off before our time ran out, power went down or our body collapsed; every time we had let more than five minutes go by without checking for new email messages.
  5. Having made this moral inventory, we then shared it with at least one other person; actually, we shared it with everybody in our address book then put it up on a website with five mirror sites and registered them all with every existing search engine.
  6. We became entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove from us all of our moral weaknesses: our stubborn resistance to upgrade more than twice daily; our craven dependence on food and sleep; our slow response to "You've got mail" at 4 am.
  7. We humbly asked our Higher Power to remove these failings, before all the good domain names were bought up and everybody else's websites were flashier than ours.
  8. We made a list of everyone who had been wronged because of our skewed priorities: when we dropped out of their chat line to answer the doorbell, postponed answering their email to have dinner with our family, did not have new content posted on our website for their daily visit just because we were helping our elderly neighbor escape from her burning house, and failed to send their e-petition to end homelessness to 500 addresses because we were out building *one* homeless shelter.
  9. We committed ourselves to making amends to everyone whom we had wronged.
  10. We proceeded to make amends to these persons whenever we could do so without causing them further harm by distracting them from their online game time.
  11. We continued to seek improvement by daily updates from and answering every post on at least three newsgroups.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening from our practice of these steps, we grabbed a large stock of chocolate covered coffee beans and went forth on the Net to carry our message of hope to other sufferers from the distractions of Life.

MajorDomo Recovery Program

Over-Commitment Anonymous

Somewhere in my files I have an Over-Editor's Recovery program I created with another writer, but every time I go looking for it I get distracted by something that needs editing.

More Musings from Thalia

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