Breaking the habit
I read somewhere that it takes a month to break a habit. My habit is called 'checking email' morning, noon and night. While I call it 'checking email' really it has morphed from that to checking Drudge headlines, AOL headlines, Facebook or any number of other sites.
I have noticed recently that often when my kids finish breakfast I am on the computer, as soon as I make them lunch I am on the computer, as soon as we are done school I am on the computer. Many times I would answer their questions while facing the computer! Well, I felt convicted that I don't want them to be in front of a screen all the time, I monitor their 'media time', so why should I allow myself endless, unchecked media time? They learn from watching me, right?
So this week I decided to do a media fast of sorts. I decided to only get on the computer when the kids are down at night. I made a new commitment to really be the artistic mother that I have been and desire to be, to be more mindful of the good things in my immediate life and to model what I want my kids to be.
So how did I fair?
The first day was easy. I was motivated and convicted. I spent the extra time with the kids or reading. The second day was harder. At lunch I was almost ready to break my pact and check emails, but I grabbed a Mark Helprin book and read outside instead. By day three it was easier.
I really enjoyed the extra time I found I had and in the evenings I still got done all my art project work (I am working my way through my book's 12 week workshop) and emails checked. OK, I missed out on the news headlines, but hey, why do I need to know who won American Idol or who died in a firey crash anyhow?
So above and beyond regular kid's school crafts and activities we made fairy houses, had a nature walk and made a nature table, made daisy chains, went to the library and read a bunch more books than normal, I timed my son juggling (55 seconds for 3 balls, 47 for 3 clubs, 36 for 4 rings...) and generally I faced them and looked them in the eye every time they asked questions. And, of course, I took photos of all of the above.
And besides reading Mark Helprin, I read an Above Rubies magazine (and cried), re-read the latest from poet Claudia Emerson and portions of Amanda Soule's 'The Creative Family'.
Can I keep it up for the month (and beyond)? We'll see, but I feel energized that I stuck by my plan for this week.