Tuesday, January 22, 2013

7 Day Media Fast: Day 1

Last week, my fella had the idea and conviction that we should fast from all of the media we are so dependent upon for seven days. I have to admit that at first I was resistant to the idea. I mean, I use Facebook to do the majority of my ministry-related communication, as well as to keep up with many family members that I do not have contact with otherwise. And Man-Cub gets a lot from all of the educational programming that he watches. But, while those are the most noble of our media uses, they are not the only ones. In truth, I waste a great deal of time watching television, lurking around Facebook and obsessing over Pinterest. Faced with the prospect of getting more done around the house and reconnecting with my family, I was all in. It is time to hit "reset" and get back to my most heartfelt priorities.

Just so we are all on the same page, this is what we are fasting from:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • All television (including movies and the DVD system in our van)
  • All games (computer, tablet, cell phone, Wii, Leapster and LeapPad)
  • All blogs (except my own, so I could update this series)
We have not cut out all internet (obviously) and we are checking our email accounts twice daily for work and/or church related communications. All person-to-person communication with friends and family is limited to phone or text. We explained this whole thing ahead of time to Man-Cub, who will be fasting with us. We explained what a fast is and why we think this is important, and he was very receptive.

Day One (Monday) was amazing. Although the morning was oddly quiet without Robin Meade's Morning Express accompanying our coffee, we enjoyed the time to talk and plan our day's activities. We had quite a lot to accomplish, given that it was the fella's last day off before two important home inspections for our adoption. This is what we did on day one of our media fast:

  • Fixed a broken window
  • Cleaned out and organized our garage
  • Went out for a family lunch date
  • Took a van-load of items to Goodwill
  • Cleaned our backyard
  • Mowed the backyard
  • Installed child-proof latches on all cabinets in the house
  • Installed wall-mounted fire extinguisher
  • Bathed and flea-treated dogs
  • Thoroughly vacuumed all carpets and furniture
  • Washed all bedding
  • Made homemade chicken and dumplings
  • Had a dance party with our kids while dinner cooked
  • Enjoyed a peaceful family dinner
  • Fella and Man-Cub had first father-son devotional time
  • Bathed children
  • Had Bible time and story time and tucked in children
  • Had couple's devotional time leading to long, meaningful conversation
  • Read some good books side-by-side
  • Went peacefully to sleep
Our greatest observations of the day were about how much we were able to accomplish without so many distractions. We took several breaks during the hard work, and had we clicked on the tv or grabbed the tablet or laptop to check Facebook, those breaks would have been much longer. Not only did we get an incredible amount of needed work done, we had leftover time to spend with our kids and one another. And without the distractions of tv and video games, they wanted to spend it with us too! For the first time in a long time I went to bed feeling like everything I needed to do was done, like everyone in my home had received a fair amount of my attention and to tell you the truth, I wasn't even as exhausted as it sounds like I would be. Instead, I was energized from all of the uninterrupted time with my fella and children, something that is hard to come by when you spend your "family time" watching a show together. It's just not the same. Oh, and in case you are wondering, Man-Cub never once asked to watch tv or play a game.

Day One=Complete Success

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