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The New SAD

Upon further reflection, I no longer believe I have insomnia, at least not in the classic sense. I think I have Sleep Aversion Disorder. That's probably not the official name of the condition (in part because the acronym is already taken by something else I suffer from). But I know it's real, because I have it.

How it works is simple. I can always find a reason to stay up a little later, no matter how tired I am, every single night. There might be laundry to finish, or papers to file. One night about a week ago there was a humungous fly buzzing around the house. A couple of nights ago I was up at 1:00 am chopping vegetables because I decided to make minestrone in the crockpot the next day instead of on the stove, and I wanted to turn it on first thing in the morning. (Which, owing to how late it was when I finally went to bed, turned out to be closer to noon than morning.)

The other day (stay with me here; this is related) I got an email from AT&T, informing me that I had gone over the broadband data limit for the month. This was my first notification that there even was a data limit. That's apparently a new policy that they have imposed without asking me if it was okay. But they were nice about it. They would waive extra charges this time. And the next time they will send me an email when I get to 65% of my limit, so that I can cut back and get under it.

Isn't that swell of them? Also naive, to think that I'm going to stop watching Netflix and Roku, stop listening to Pandora and Spotify, or stop using my iPhone and iPad on my wireless network. To their credit, AT&T didn't threaten to cut me off completely. What they will do, they said, on the third offense is start charging me ten dollars for every increment of 50 GB over the 150 GB residential limit.

All day, after getting the email, I thought about this situation. Mulled it over and over in my mind, got hotter and hotter. About midnight I decided to do something about it, so I went onto the AT&T website and poked around, trying to find out how to monitor my own data usage.

But the AT&T website, like their phone menus and almost everything else about them, is nearly impossible to navigate. I have two land lines and two mobile numbers, and they have set up separate logins for each. I worked on getting through this maze for two hours before I realized I should have gone to bed two hours before. I would have been a lot less aggravated, and it might have been easier to get to sleep that night.

Because of where I live, way out here in the wilderness, I don't qualify for any higher speed plans, so I made the only logical decision. My decision was: Who cares? Go ahead, AT&T, and charge me ten or twenty dollars more each month. There is zero chance I'm going to start using less broadband, no matter what you do.

Of course, this rash decision was made easier for me by the fact that the Company pays my phone bill, including the $46.00 a month for what is ironically called high-speed Internet. The speed is barely high enough to support all my needs and all my devices. It's almost worth considering moving into town, where I can choose more modern services from a wider variety of carriers. Maybe I'll think about that tonight, starting at about midnight.

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