Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The No and the Yeses {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is media.

While I wasn't wasting minutes-that-add-up-into-hours on a too-convenient mobile device (and also guarding time spent online, in general) this month, I was doing lots of other things, instead. Like fully engaging in time spent with family, instead of taking pictures, then immediately captioning and sharing them (I'm not saying pictures are bad - snapping a photo only takes a minute. Finding the right filter, deciding on hashtags, and making sure it posts take longer).

I finished the hat I was designing for this month early, and had time to make a pair of legwarmers for Sprout, publish both patterns, and accept a commission knit without it being the kind of yes that requires saying no to something I shouldn't. (Also, the asker has excellent taste in colors - raspberry sorbet and vanilla icecream, yes, please!)

I made progress on turning Sprout's room into a bedroom fit for a baby - furniture is all rearranged (except for a few barstools that we use sometimes but not all the time), odds and ends are boxed up, I moved a bookshelf into Brooklyn's closet (we have surprisingly large closets for an apartment...), and I found the perfect lamp (it emits a low, golden glow that is bright enough to see if there's been a diaper malfunction but low enough to not blind you when you turn it on) at Ten Thousand Villages on sale (I spotted the green-and-yellow dip-dyed beauty a month ago and resisted - but my patience paid off!) Now I can spend the next couple of months doing the fun stuff and trying to find a stroller that will fold up small enough to fit in my car, once I have two carseats in it.

I've practiced peace (choosing to leave my phone inside, as well, while I sat on the balcony for half an hour or so each afternoon), gained a deeper understanding of the conversational nature of prayer, read entire chapters without pausing in the middle to check an alert, filled over half of a new journal that I started at the beginning of the month, and rested.

[Sea salt hand scrub in an upcycled Starbucks drink bottle, with a dear little spoon from Ten Thousand Villages]

I pieced a quilt block for the Peacemakers ministry at church, prepped for a knitting class I'll be teaching in a few weeks, and got a head start on Christmas gifts. Since I also covered waste and spending this month, I tried to do my crafting with intentionality, using what I had and trying to keep any necessary spending local/slave free.

I received letters and wrote prompt replies, and tried to make the interactions I did have on social media more intentional - commenting instead of just liking, responding to messages and emails as soon as I read them, and making an effort to comment on blog posts. We went to New Community at our church one Wednesday night, Mum came up for a day, and Dad has stopped by a couple of evenings while he's in town for a military school, and none of those things interfered with tasks that needed to be done (because I was also able to consistently finish my weekly to-do lists several days early).

Overall, I discovered that a yes I didn't even realize that I was saying every time I picked up that iPhone or sat down in front of my computer was robbing me of a whole lot of better yeses that I wanted to say but somehow couldn't find the time for. I didn't delete my Facebook, stop blogging, and donate my laptop to a worthy cause - but I did learn to say no with purpose, so that I could be free to say yes with intentionality.

Our constant pseudo-connectedness is a mixed blessing - what yeses might an occasional no to internet and social media use open up for you?


Karrilee Aggett said...

I love this! I wrote about saying Yes and saying No yesterday and I think MANY of us can follow your lead in putting down the phone more often! I am (now) thankful that my hubby is so anti-phone... even though he has one, he is not attached to it - which helps me to remember that I don't need to be either! Oh - and deleting facebook from my phone: Best. Decision. Ever.

Melanie said...

Such a timely post for me to read...wanting so much for a greater yes. I don't have a smart phone, but even without that, can spend way too much time on my laptop, getting easily distracted from my main purpose!

The Rogue Mom said...

"I...tried to make the interactions I did have on social media more intentional - commenting instead of just liking, responding to messages and emails as soon as I read them." I love this, in fact I read it on another 31 Dayer's post, about being a real person! Awesome!

Amanda Simkin said...

What a wonderful post. You have definitely inspired me to take a step back...looking forward to a blogging break...three more days!

Laura Schofield said...

I love this. I think November might have to be a LOT more unplugged than October. More time with my kiddos and less time with a phone.