I missed reading like one would miss an absent loved one. I found myself wondering how the characters I had been reading about last week were doing. I really longed to be with them. I would often go to look something up in a reference book, or pick up a book from my shelf to revisit some passages and feel very disappointed when I remembered that was off limits for this week. I also wanted to go on-line to research topics of immediate interest or concern. I became acutely aware of how much time I dedicate to the written word.
I filled the week with more activity than usual. I met a friend for coffee, another friend for dinner, I had a dinner party. I painted a bathroom. I went to two movies, I went for several evening walks. I had more in-depth phone conversations. I did more yoga and more mediation. I even unearthed a tube of Doodle Art from high school and colored in a few spaces. I also was confronted with my emotions and thoughts but instead of just shelving them as usual while I sought distraction on the internet or in a book, I faced them and ‘worked’ them as I coach my clients to do. This has been a very revealing experience. As a coach I am always telling others that your life is going according to your thoughts and beliefs and if you are not aware of your thoughts and beliefs you cannot make any changes in how your life goes. This week I practiced what I preached more so than usual.
I opened my email this morning and there were 59 messages. Only 6 of them required a response and were of a business/personal matter. The remainder were mindless ‘forwards,’ blog posts from bloggers I follow, 2 Twitter notices (I have 2 new followers, for a total of...2!), 1 Facebook notice (someone accepted my friend request!) and the rest were advertisements from sites I thought I had unsubscribed!
Conclusion: Social media, the internet, being on-line is all a personal choice. They are tools that are available for my interest, amusement, information, entertainment, but I control how much of my time I dedicate to them. I have determined that I will limit my time and access because I was allowing it to be a bit too mindless, too habitual. I discovered many other pleasant, creative ways to spend my time. The time ‘off’ forced me out of my old habits and patterns and has inspired some new thoughts, ideas and ways of being. It is like I’ve had a spring cleaning. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve some reading to do.