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Monday, July 9, 2012

Downshifting

With my new schedule, that being the lack of a schedule, I have found myself spending large amounts of time using the internet. I will sit down in the morning, open bloglovin and realize three hours later that I have just been sitting at a screen for all that time. Granted, during that time I am reading interesting information, looking at informative articles, being inspired, and so on, but much of it I am also just clicking around and filling my head with extra. Extra information that is not more important than working on the quilt I have begun for baby girl. Extra worrying about what other people are up to rather than writing a letter, setting up a coffee shop date, or preparing a little package for the mail. Rather than facing life head on I am seeing it through a screen.

While I value technology and it's place in my life, right now I have given it too large of one. So, last week I told myself that needed to change. I will still be here five days a week to share bits of my own life and to connect with others I admire or have built friendships with, but I will be being more mindful of the clock as I do so. And the time I am not online? I am going to do my best to pretend it doesn't exist, to ask myself what I would do if there were no internet, no endless abyss to distract me. To take a little time each morning and afternoon to tend to this space and to check in on others, but to fill my other hours with more fully living. This morning, rather than continuing to click around, once my time was up I tended to some ironing that has been needing tending to for weeks, read books that have been sitting in a dusty pile waiting for me to finish them, picked up around the house and cuddled my critters, created a large list of things I have been wanting to do to make my home more cozy and organized. None of those things would have happened had I not tucked the laptop away and forced myself to look at how I really wanted to fill my day.


Back on my old blog, at the beginning of the year, I talked of my word for the year being "simplify" and this is all just a continuation of that desire. I want to live more simply and more mindfully and not look back on my days and see only a glowing screen looking back at me or have regret for all the things I want to have done, but am not doing. I want for when little lady is born, for her not to think time spent on a computer or phone is more important than time spent with her. So, I need to start now in changing the way I am living, to fill my days with things that bring me joy and things that need to be done for my family to make our days run more smoothly as a whole. I need to allow myself empty time so that I can choose how to fill it. I'm looking forward to continuing on this journey and seeing how it changes the way I live my life.

If you have made an effort to limit internet usage or to find a balance in your online time I really wouldn't mind hearing about it. I think it can be a hard change to make and a hard balance to find, but I know deep inside it is a change I need now more than ever.

Sara

8 comments:

  1. I know what you mean. I sometimes spend a little too much time on blogging and reading other blogs. However, in general I am not that much on the Internet. Making a conscious choice can help. For example I don't own a tv, because I know that if I do I will be spending hours and hours watching junk while I could also have spent that time on more qualitative stuff. I still watch movies etc on my laptop, and I can follow the news via internet. So I guess it is also about knowing your 'weak spot' and acting accordingly. At least that helped me ;)

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  2. Oh my, I so relate. It amazes me how much time I spend on the internet. I go to bed discouraged so many nights because I know that I haven't made the best (or anywhere close to the best) use of my time. Good luck! I have been trying to make super detailed schedules of my day. It's been helping a little bit, but it's easy to loose motivation.

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  3. Great post! I made it my goal to turn off my computer one evening a week. This may not sound like much, but I have found that most changes I try to implement work well if I ease into them. Of course I can choose to be Internet-free for more than one evening! Once I find this goal too easy, I plan to increase the number of nights sans technology. It would be harder for me to stay off the computer if I was at home for most of the day though, but dogs can always use a walk!

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  4. I think that's a great goal. I started last weekend too by not opening the laptop and trying to stay off my phone for the most part. It was a nice break, that's for sure, and something I'd like to continue unless I'm using it for writing or something like that.  And yes, dogs can always use a walk, and there are more than enough other things to keep my busy. :)

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  5. I know that discouraged feeling well. I feel good about this new plan and although it will take some adjusting and shifting as things continue to change, I love the freeing feeling. Now, when looking back on yesterday I actually have some moments to feel proud of rather than just feeling like my day disappeared. 

    Good luck to you too! I think we can do it if we keep at it.

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  6. Yes, I think making a conscious choice is so important and makes all the difference. I really do feel like the internet is to me like tv is to other people. We don't have television stations and just catch shows on hulu or netflix now and then, and tv has never been a problem for me, but the internet is like a multi-armed beast who just won't let go and who always has something new tucked away in his hands to show you...it can really get out of control. So yes, definitely in tune with my weak spot with plans to continue to strengthen it. Thanks for the insight. 

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  7. It is hard, isn't it. We have made a few changes in our home so that the computer and the TV are not in the mix as often. First of all we are screen free on Sunday's, no TV, no computer. And while it was hard the first few Sunday's we now look forward to it. I also work for about an hour in the morning and then log off until my little man is in the bath. Daddy gives him his bath and I get started on work. I take a little break to put him to bed and then I get back to it.

    I try really hard to limit my evening work a few nights a week so I can indulge in the other things that make me happy - knitting, sewing, reading, taking a bath.

    I think it also helps that we don't have any way to access the internet except on the computer. We don't have any fancy technology so it is not in our face all the time.

    I think we all have to find what works for us and our families and then stick with it. If it doesn't work then make changes til you find what does.

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  8. I like the idea of a totally screen free day. We really don't use the tv much as we don't have cable or anything, just some netflix and hulu here and there, but we're moving it to the basement before baby comes for a tv free space. It sounds like you've found a really good balance. I hope to get to a similar place myself. And like you said, we'll keep making changes until we do. Thanks for sharing your experiences, it helps to hear what others are doing.

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