This all started when my sister decided to ask all of her Facebook friends what she should give up for lent.
Lent being the Catholic practice of sacrificing something for 40 days starting on Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday and also cutting out eating meat on Fridays for the same duration, at least when I was Catholic..that's what it was.
Many of her friends suggested things that she wouldn't consider a sacrifice because she doesn't indulge in those actions as frequently. One of her friends suggested to sacrifice Facebook but that was shot down almost instantly; so I suggested (and she did at the same time) to give up coffee. I warned her of the dangers of caffeine leaving her system and she's decided to go on with it anyway. I sensed her worry and instead suggested that she turn off ALL electronics every night at 7pm.
This is what she replied (verbatim) : I have a crackberry! I was emailing, making spaghetti, FBing, watching Biggest Loser and texting my boss at the same time! That's just crazy talk LOL.
As soon as I read that, I thought of a book called, "The Winter of Our Disconnect." A book I haven't read but basically it's about a mother with three "connected" teens who decides to turn everything off. Hmm...I consider myself connected. Connected to what? I don't know..social networking sites, DIY sites, email, global news (hard to find in the news in the Midwest), texting, blogging, YouTube, Hulu, television...it's sad. It shouldn't suck up a huge chunk of my time but it does.
I got to thinking.....
What if my family started out small? Like maybe just one night, starting at 6pm, we turn everything off. No talking on the phone, no computer, internet, television or blogging. Maybe on a Monday where we like prime-time television? This would be a cinch for my 2 year old. How long could we do this? A month? 3 months? Longer? I like the idea of having to get creative and maybe I could read a book in the early evening instead of at midnight. Maybe I could get back to trying to learn bar chords. Maybe we could enjoy the evenings outside...take a family stroll around the block, read stories, bake, color....this idea of being rid of something worldly, even if it's just for a few hours once a week, sounds very rewarding.
We'll be starting tomorrow night and I hope we can keep it up for more than a month..because that's only four Mondays in a row, I know we can do it.
For the record, I'm not Catholic, I'm Mormon and I do not practice lent. I do however believe that I can better myself and strive to be a better person for my family.