Saturday, February 25, 2012


Taking some simple time off has lead to some interesting insights.  I spend a lot less time mindlessly surfing the net and being sucked into social media, than I had assumed.  There's always been a degree of guilt associated with these activities for me.  Perhaps I just thought I spent too much time on them.  I've come to this conclusion after only a few short days into my Lenten Journey.  

I had naively assumed that with the time I wasn't spending "surfing" that I'd have time to lavish on my family, get those dreaded tasks around the house started.  Be on top of my work and still have time to take up a new hobby.  I was so mistaken.  I've only been afforded a few short minutes here and there.  Sure you'd think they'd add up to some real time saved.  No.  Not even close.

This has been a very busy week.  But aren't they all?  I don't often get days when there isn't something that has to be accomplished under the gun.  So where did all that surfing time come from?  What had I been neglecting?  Perhaps it needs more time to reveal the answer to that.

There is no background noise except the birds in the front hall having their endless conversations.  The days when the kids are in school the house is very still.  Only the activity at hand provides the back drop of atmosphere.  I did take a short break to sit and have a cup of tea and do nothing.  What an adventure that was.  Clearly that requires discipline.  I wasn't able to sit long at all without the impulse that I shouldn't just be sitting there.  I had the need to multitask or it was wasted time.  

In this quiet my thoughts explode.  I can't seem to keep them in order.  Wonderful ideas, the endless making of mental lists.  A parade of memories stream in and out to their own beat.  Then there are the unfinished arguments that get their exercise.  It has only been a few short days but already I've worked through some niggling issues and feel a lot less harassed.  

I'm enjoying this solitude.  The first day felt awkward.  Knowing there was something I wasn't "allowed" to do. Reaching for the computer or blackberry to realize that it was merely the need to break the habit.  By the second day I wasn't even feeling the desire to check in.  Each day gets easier.  I wonder that at the end of the 46 days that I'll even think about it anymore.  I wonder at why this doesn't seem to bother me.  

Perhaps being so "connected" isn't a good thing after all.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Going Old School

It's rounding up to that time of year again.  Lent.  With Lent comes my usual media fast.  I've been looking forward to this for a long time.  I say it often but technology is no one's friend.  I often think that I was much happier before Facebook.  I also don't need to be inundated with awful or absurd news all the time.  Violent or ridiculous TV shows leave me feeling stressed and if I watch them before going to bed then I'm pretty much guaranteed to have unpleasant dreams or even a restless night.  Not my idea of entertainment.   I have enough stress to keep my shoulders about my ears.

My husband teases me all the time that all I ever watch is The Walton's,  Romantic Comedies or Jane Austen.  He laughs but there's method to my madness.  No one dies a graphic despicable death.  There are no serial killers waiting to jump out and steal a baby to bring it to bad ends.  No profane language or "adult" content to shield my kids from should they wander into the room.  If I watch that stuff then I tend to swear less.  Yes, it's true!

The great thing about the media fast is that I get to spend that unproductive time doing things that will ultimately make me more efficient.  That means more time for PROJECTS!!!  I'm going to teach myself to crochet.  Oddly, I thought I'd learned to do this as a child but if it's like ice skating, I've proven that, in fact, a skill can be forgotten.  Deeply forgotten!

For me this time-out is coming at a terrific time too.  My life is about to become really fantastically busy.  The time I have left I'll want to dedicate to my family.  It also resets my perspective.  I had a conversation the other day with a loved one who said his marriage was taken over by technology.  That his wife never spends any time with him.  If she's in his presence then her iPhone is always in her hands and she is always distracted by incoming texts.  He said he's watched himself get shoved out of the relationship.  She doesn't even realize what that gadget has done.  He doubts that if she were acquainted with how the wedge has effected their relationship, she still wouldn't be able to give it up.  It has wormed it's way in and it's likely staying for dinner, forever.  Sadly, it is drawing their relationship to an end.  How horrible!  I'm learning in advance from her mistake.  I wouldn't ever want anyone to feel that they were pushed aside.

This is my opportunity to reboot the way I think about technology.  So by and large any blogs I write for the next 46 days will be written out by hand then quickly transcribed during the few minutes I've allotted myself each day.  I'll likely spend more time actually connecting with my friends rather than dashing off short facebook blurbs.  If I don't connect with them much during this time than it's more time I've got to redirect my energy into my work, my home and my family life.  I'll drag out some of my forgotten cook books if I want culinary inspiration.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not so bombastic to think that it won't be a big adjustment.  I am expecting withdrawal.  

I don't know what all this talk about sacrifice is?  Really at the end of the day, it's not much of a sacrifice.  Now if I'd been fool enough to give up coffee or *gasp* booze..... nah, I'm not that crazy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Life Moves Swiftly

Sometimes I amazed at how things in my life can move so quickly.  Not unlike water rushing past a broken dam.  You move with the current or you can get dragged under.   I love the way my swift moving life has taken me to places I couldn't have predicted.  The movement of change cutting through some of the things I've assumed were strong enough to withstand change.  I love the path I've been carried down even when it meanders in odd directions.  I have never looked at change as if it was a bad thing because I've had it proved time and again that change brings wonderful new things.  

The dam breaks and the water rushes past.  No matter.  No really, no matter at all.  I'm surprised at how happy just a few unplanned changes to my life has suddenly made me.  I was OK before but now I'm ecstatic.  Odd, how that happens.  I can't say what the wonderful things are but I can say that I'll be insanely busy for the next several months.  I like busy.  Busy is good!

I also like being reminded what is really important and what is not.  It is not important to hold a place in your life for someone who is not worthy of the honour.  It is not important to defend what you know is the right thing to do.  The right thing is just that and nothing less.  It's not important to give trivial matters more time than one would take to choose shoes to go with a purse.  Which is great because I'm not all that particular about shoes (unless I run in them) or purses.  What is important; my family; my friends; my word; my time and me.  Yep, I said it.  I'm important.  

So when life starts to move swiftly without warning the first things I think about are the things that are important.    After that perhaps then I'll worry about the dishes.  Be sure of one thing, everything else ranks lower than the dishes on my "to be concerned with" list.