living without the computer

It’s now been over a month since I gave up my morning computer time for Lent.  I haven’t been able to be 100% faithful (since some mornings I’ve HAD to get onto the computer for one reason or another), but other than those occasions, I’ve been pretty faithful about staying off the computer in the morning.  (One time I was going to sneak a quick peek at my email on JJ’s laptop while he was over at church for a few minutes, and his computer froze on me.  Now, I don’t believe that we can count on God “speaking” to us through events in our lives, but it did make me wonder…  I haven’t tried to do that since then! ;))

I still feel like I wander around a bit in the morning, resisting the urge to go on the computer and wondering what to do instead.  I’ve always been more of an afternoon/evening person anyway, so having trouble focusing in the morning is nothing new.  However, it’s getting a little better.  It has helped that a friend of mine from church has been going walking with me on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for the past few weeks.  Her daughter is in Lyd’s kindergarten class, so after she drops her little girl off, she comes up to our house and we go walking around the neighborhood, up and down the hills.  It’s been such a treat to not only get out of the house and gently exercise, but to have someone by your side, doing it, too, and chatting all the way.  It’s been just wonderful!

My biggest reason for staying off the computer in the morning is to set a good example for Curious J.  She gets annoyed, much more so than Lyd ever did (but then, the main computer wasn’t in our house when Lyd was J’s age) when Momma is on the computer too long.  When J wants me off the computer, she starts yanking my hand off the mouse!  So, I’m trying to be a better example for my daughter, for BOTH of my daughters.  It’s because of that, and because I’ve now realized that it IS possible to live without email before 12:30 pm, that I’m going to continue this morning computer-less time indefinitely.  In my quest to discover new and interesting books for my book club, I discovered a book with a title something to the effect of “never check email in the morning,” and just reading that title made me realize that other moms were having the same struggle I am, which made me feel more convinced that giving up morning internet is a good ideal to strive towards.

There’s been unexpected benefits of being off the computer.  If I can get myself physically doing something (ie. sorting/folding laundry, cleaning, organizing, working outside, or even reading a book), I’m amazed at how much I start thinking, thinking thoughts that to me are quite interesting.  Back in late January and early February, I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t think of anything to blog about anymore.  But now that I’m stepping away from the computer screen more frequently, I’m amazed at the ideas germinating in my head.  I have so many blog post ideas now, and some of them are even good! 😉  I haven’t yet learned to quick jot my ideas down on paper to save for later, but it’s refreshing just to feel revitalized and interesting again.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), it’s when I’m working with my hands that my thoughts run most freely.  Usually it’s a more mundane task, but once the body is occupied, the mind has free range to roam.  So, I am doing my best to appreciate those mundane tasks by remembering that my mind will have space to think during those tasks.

I’m glad I’m having this experience of giving up something for Lent.  It’s useful self-discipline.  I rarely keep promises made only to myself, but I am much better at keeping a promise I have made to God.