Computer Fast

What I do with my time

Not a fast computer. I decided recently that I wanted to spend less time at the keyboard, down from ninety minutes a day, six days a week. (I was already budgeted.) I cut out Saturdays, then cut down to three days a week, up to two hours. It seems to be working fine.

I have time to do other things. It’s appalling how quickly the keyboard takes up our hours. If I were writing a book, I would try to do it without accessing the internet first; it’s email, google and facebook that steal the time. I’ve cut back and will cut again the number of blogs and websites I follow. I don’t have time to read them all, and some of them don’t hold much interest to me. I was quite involved for a while in emergent church reading, but the Holy Spirit is not leading me that way, and it seems quite repetitive now. So does reading up on intentional community. I guess I’m like Wendell Berry – more interested in unintentional community.

Yesterday was a “no computer” day. I did six loads of wash (yes, with a machine) but only one load – the dog blanket and the kitchen rug – went in the dryer for dehairing. The rest went on the clothesline and the clotheshorse to dry. I got loads of exercise, too – up and down three flights of stairs with baskets, hanging and removing clothes in the yard. Nicholas likes to help with this. I did have a laundry mishap – I dropped a wet sheet and then stepped on it. Mud. Instead of rewashing it, I sprayed it with the hose. It still dried in a couple of hours.

I marinated pork for supper, cleaned the kitchen and made beds. I spent time with my husband, just talking. Knowing I wasn’t going to the computer, I didn’t even think about what I might be missing.

Tomorrow is another computer fast day. I may take Nicholas to the farmer’s market, and finish my new dress. I am so pleased with finding new time in my day. I think the problem was that I had started planning my day to start at the keyboard, rather than planning real work. And the ninety minutes started creeping into two hours or more, and I gave myself permission to go back later – which I no longer do. Once the computer account is closed, it’s closed until the next computer day.

I do this so I can be a real person, not a virtual person. It’s easy and tempting to be that better person on-line, the one who never reveals a flaw or a failing. We can delete anything unflattering or critical. Friends who criticize can be elminated with the push of a button. We can, in the mask of anonymity, flame and flare people. We say things we would never say to someone’s face. We can be very superior. We can become the Great Oz, even if we are only the man behind the curtain.

time well spent

14 thoughts on “Computer Fast

  1. Just so long as you come back sometimes with some lovely pictures like these so we can see all the real life things you’ve been doing. And if you send me your address on a Facebook message I’ll send you a book of my stories, so you can do some real life relaxing as well xxx

    • I am so lazy about the camera! It’s an older Sony digital with a zoom feature, and it isn’t nearly professional quality. It has so little memory, that I have to frequently download and start over. I will have new photos soon, I hope. I will be messaging soon! I look forward to that. I have been searching around for soemthing suitable to read, and your work is just the sort to suit! Thank you!

  2. Hi Magdalena,
    What your going through is what others are going through as well. If they are not they ought to. Now, with that last remark I made I might make some people upset. Which goes to show you cannot please all of the readers all the time and some are not going to be pleased at anytime. I have seen a lot of women bloggers trying very hard to not be easily offended, but deep down I believe it happens anyhow. It is a good thing to try to get along with one another, but when we get into discussions about theology or religious practices it always leads to problems ( spoken or not spoken). When everyone is not at the same place it is simply inevitable and no matter how much one determines not to let things get to them it does its damage; this is not something that encourages.
    I understand completely and encourage you to do what you feel led to do.

    • If we are easily offended by a comment or someone’s view of a subject, sometimes we have to ask ourselves why. Are we too heavily invested in our own view, and we will have lost a lot of time or effort if we make room for someone else? Or are we afraid we might be wrong but we really like that possibly wrong opinion? People write in a public forum for affirmation of their own views. People do disagree with me, sometimes vehemently, and I have to stop and wonder why. They may have a good point to make. They may know something I don’t. I try to consider that and pray over the matter before making too quick a reply. This happens in day to day life, too, after all. I was taken aback when someone got angry with me over the issue of candles in church! (For the record, I don’t think we need displays of candles – two on the altar at the eucharist are enough. I don’t agree with keeping a perpetual candle burning to show that there is reserved sacrament, but I reserve sacrament only to take to the sick and never for adoration. I scandalized other priests by keeping the reserved sacrament in my kitchen and not in the ambry/tabernacle – the little box with a lock – in the church. There were good reasons for this – the church was sometimes colder than the outside air, and the cruet of wine almost cracked one day when I brought it into a warm house. Another reason – the one I liked to cite – was that I thought Jesus got lonely. I really should just write a post on my theology of the sacrament, shouldn’t I? It is so historically Anglican.)

  3. I do want to say something else about my last post. About my comment on
    “discussion” about theology and religious practices. I was not necessarily including plain practices, as I have seen many egroups and types of discussion groups online do fine with this subject. I have seen a few that got nasty, but not in general.

    I also wanted to say that I don’t get the chance to have a computer issue because I have so little time. I have often thought that is a blessing. If Patrick got well and certain other issues around here changed and I had to make decisions for myself, I don’t know what I would do! It is kind of scary to think about. I am sure I would end up doing ok, but I would probably have to go through some battles with myself.

    • I left a number of discussion groups (none on Plain life) because of rancor. They were Christian groups, and they should have been ashamed to behave that way. I don’t have a lot of computer time anyway, but I started to covet that computer time too much.

      I wonder, too, what would happen if I didn’t have as much caretaking to do. Now, I could just be sitting around, watching the telly and eating crisps all day, but I am a busy person at heart and I found ways to be productive. You could be the same way – you have gone beyond what many people would do to give your child the best possible quality of life. I am sure we have both seen the other side of caregiving!

  4. I too have been trying to have ‘Computer Fasting.’ I like your wording so I will use it. I want to spend more time getting things done around home. I do feel encouraged when reading from a fellow Christian coverer, so I pray you do not end your blog all together. Thank you for sharing your daily activities and your thoughts. Blessing’s~~~~~

  5. That is a good point to bring out – about those who might get offended at a different point of view and is it perhaps we fear we might be wrong. I think, as we get more mature in our faith we have stumbled enough to be humble enough to consider other opinions.

    As for the other point about what if we did not the same level of caregiving to give and found ourselves with more time on our hands. I, am like you in that I am not the idle sort. Now, my older son is never around much and he badgers me that I don’t “do” anything. He has not a clue. My mind is my busiest thing these days, but I also never stop with the endless chores and needs till I go to bed, except for the breaks I do take, but only at certain points of the day. I don’t plan breaks because certain things I just have to do at a certain time. From 2 or 3 to 6 or 7 I am in the kitchen figuring out and starting dinner, doing lunches for one son who leaves at 6 pm, breakfast and lunches ( often dinner leftovers) for husband the following day, and filling up medicine and supplement containers for Patrick first and then us. Patrick takes at least 50 pills a day and he has stuff every 3 hours, so, it takes time and concentration to do pills. The dishes are hand washed and dried as I go along. Bruce loves to help me, but he has to tend the chickens first and often there are projects to do around home or he will take Patrick to do something fun, like play with his bb gun or walk. We cook everything from scratch. There is no wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nuts, artificial sweetners, and sugar must be unprocessed and sparingly used. In a way, this is easier than when I was always trying to come up with desserts so Patrick wouldn’ t feel deprived and probably more importantly, others would not feel he is deprives. People get so distressed about his diet, but it is a wonderful diet. Meat, veg, fruit, and we eat rice and have some rice pasta too. We had flounder fried in home milled rice flour last night in coconut oil and it was just like Red Lobster’s!! So, I wouldn’t be happy laying around doing nothing, but it has been so LONG that I have been focused on this I feel like whoever I am just disappeared and would have to be recreated!! Rather scary, but I trust God would take care of leading me.


    • I know people think Patrick must feel ‘deprived” because they would! But he has the best possible care you can give him, much better than trying to compromise all the time with the world. Keep up your good work at home. You are remembered in my prayers.

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