Friday, April 1, 2011

April Unplugged (no foolin')

enjoying the sun
I grew up Catholic, and although I don't affiliate with a particular religion anymore, I do appreciate the symbolism of lent.  As a child I always got excited about picking my one thing to "give-up."  It was usually candy or pop or ice cream.  And I was actually pretty darn good about it.  I loved the feeling when Easter day came around and I could say, "I did it!"  I like using this time of year for deep reflection and I value the insight that I can gain when I let go of something I no longer need.  This letting go allows me to step inward and helps limit the amount of external distractions in my life.

As much as I love the Internet and connecting with YOU, I've gotta say that I can see how my few minutes of computer time here and there throughout the day distract me.  I get on to upload some photos, then hear a ding alerting me that another email just arrived. I jump over to my inbox to read it, which takes me to Facebook and before I know it I'm reading about what my old high school friend is eating for lunch.  Then the baby is up from his nap and I didn't get a chance to do the one thing I had intended to do in the first place - which was to simply upload photos!  Can you relate?

So in preparation for new projects I'm cultivating this spring, I've decided that I'm going to use the month of April to limit distractions.  And that's why I'm "giving up" the computer for one month.

Here are my April Unplugged rules:  Until Easter, I'm staying away from Facebook and Twitter.  No writing posts.  No reading posts.  No writing blogs (eeks).  No reading blogs (gulp).  I can check and respond to emails, but will limit my time.  I can do business related computer work, like writing articles for online magazine deadlines, keeping connected to my Inside Out community forum and doing research related to my website redesign.  (I found a graphic/web designer who is going to help me with this...and soon I'll be working on new e-courses, too!  Sooo excited.) I can write and send out my first newsletter.   (Sign-up so I can send you one, too!)  And that's it. 

sleeping in the sun

Since I have little boys who need my love and attention, I have to be wise about how I spend my time.  I know that just by giving up my tendencies to get sucked into computer land I will have more space and energy to focus on what matters most...

Like enjoying the fresh air...

loving spring

BEing together...

spring flower

and noticing spring.

Just getting ready to post this challenge and I'm already feeling some resistance.  I guess that's a reminder that when we "give up" something we are attached to, it may not come easy at first, but there's gotta be beauty and insight along the journey...right? it goes... 

Your Personal Reflection:  What can you "give up" this spring so that you can free up time to focus on things that need attention in your life?

Please note:  I have an exciting art piece to share with you.  When it's ready I will allow myself one blog post and one Twitter/Facebook mention...but that's it!  I sure like making up my own rules...

And a special thanks to these free spirits for adding the I'm a Free Spirit badge to their site:  Lily, Elliefants, Soul Cadence, Aarian, Erin, Amanda, and Exploring Life!


  1. I love this post. I wonder what I would be able to give up??? You gave me food for thoughts!

  2. i can so relate to this... but, i'm going to have to refrain giving up computer time as much as i want to hop on the bandwagon with you. this is the last month of our life on the island and i will be documenting last trips here and there and probably a little of the thoughts and feelings i'm having as we culminate our island journey. but... i will give up..... i'll get back to you. : )

  3. I'm going through my home and simplifying it - getting rid of clutter and things my family or I no longer need. In that way, my time in the future isn't wasted trying to find things that aren't easily accessible or in their proper place.

  4. dear Shannon, I totally GET IT! And I think it's a great thing to do. I have just come out the otherside of an art residency which coincided with my nearly losing a parent and it really does put things in to perspective!

    I spent two weeks blurring boundaries between art and life with some other crazy 'life' stuff going off too. Here I am appreciating what is important in life and I think you are right to go enjoy those things. Hope you have a wonderful time doing them in April and I look forward to hearing from you :)


  5. My kids have been having way too much sugar in the past year (ever since Halloween!) and so they are giving up all treats (except ice cream and milkshakes - we like to make up our own rules, too, don't we?!). They are only 4 and 6 and to be fair and to be a good example, I am giving up the same thing.

    After reading your blog, I have to admit, I realize that my one huge weakness is the internet, too! Next year, that should be my thing to give up! ... I have a whole year to get mentally ready for it ;)

    I wish you a wonderful lent with your family!

  6. Missing you already! But I think what you're doing is a great idea. I find myself losing time and getting distracted on the internet. Tuesday I start sending out my new TIC TOCC timed creative prompts in my new newsletter so I have quite a bit of work to do on the computer. But the school Easter hols start today and so I want to focus on my kids as much as possible and not let the net take over.

    What do I want to give up? Worrying - it solves nothing and helps no one. I try not to but yet I still find myself worrying away almost always about other people. But my worry for them isn't helping them - I'd be better off giving them a hug, baking them a cake or just listening.

    Look forward to having you back. Hope you April off is fabulous fun.

    Kat X

  7. Giving up the computer was hard but it definitely helped me put my priorities in order! Thanks for your support.


Thanks for sharing!