Melinda at Elements in Time (a wonderful blog if you have a fast connection, better to subscribe by email if you don’t) issued a challenge for the month of March. The challenge is that every week in March you spend one day removed from technology, defined as "flickering stuff built since the 50's." The idea is to slow down and spend quality time doing non-techno stuff. She will have a recap on her website sometime very soon, and I hope I got my post up early enough to be part of that. Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to get her little do-dad to work until now. :)
Anyway, I chose Sundays as my techno-free day. For me, it meant no TV (pretty easy) and no computer or internet. The first Sunday, I had "Mountains Beyond Mountains" (see review) freshly checked out of the library. It’s easy for me to avoid the TV and computer when I’m engrossed in a good book!
The second week, I picked up Michael Pollan’s new book from the library on Friday and had to put it out of sight so I’d save it for Sunday reading. I eagerly awaited the book - actually started it Saturday night - and then tried to find time to read on Sunday. Beautiful weather called and I took Munchkin to the park during my "reading" time (OK, I would have read, but he didn’t take a nap). But I finally carved time to read that evening. Sadly, I was underwhelmed by the book, but my review tells that story. Techno-free was easy as I didn’t have time to watch TV or browse the internet anyway!
The third Sunday (Palm Sunday), I enjoyed my non-techno time reading "Cook with Jamie" by Jamie Oliver. It was very good, but I had only gotten through about a third of it before it was due, and our library won't let you renew if someone else has requested the book. So, sorry, no review. I've got some local readers and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was one of you who put the hold on my book before I was done with it!
I didn't quite make it techno-free on the fourth and fifth Sundays, although I resisted the call of technology until after Munchkin went to bed at night. After hosting Easter, I was too tired to want to do anything other than veg, and yesterday evening I was planning to read, but my husband lured me into watching a movie with him. :) However, I took a great walk yesterday afternoon during time I normally would have been web surfing. It was wet and about 38 degrees out, so I bundled up and took a walk in the snow (!) and then in the sunshine. There's a saying in Oregon, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." I also began a book that looks like a winner. The book is, "Three Cups of Tea" by Mortenson and Relin and it appears similar to "Mountains Beyond Mountains," only it takes place in Pakistan. Look for a review, soon!
The challenge was fun and I spent time reading a bunch of new books, but I don't think I will continue techno-free Sundays. The truth is, I would have read all those books anyway, so the difference was that I saved them for Sundays. I think there is real value in turning off technology and tuning in to real life, but for me, I think I have an OK balance, even though I spend too much time reading your blogs! I will, though, be quicker to go ahead and take that walk in lousy weather. It was fun to be out in the cold, all bundled up and with a mega-size umbrella. Thanks, Melinda, for your great idea!