Friday is my media fast day. I don't use the computer on Fridays. However acute the temptation to check emails, read the newspaper, or research something, I resist.
The idea originated when we moved into this house and had no Internet. I used the Internet cafe in town and found that I had much more time to get things done at home. No excuse for procrastination lurked in the middle of the sitting room! Then our connection came through, and though I loudly advocated that we remain Internet-free, mine was a lone voice, and I recognised its futility.
I came across the idea of a media fast in Apartment Therapy, a website with something for everyone. My Fridays have been computer-free for about two months now, and it feels great.
Friday is also my no-gym day, so my 'doing' begins at 7.15 after I've put the Little Ones on the school bus at the end of the road. Yesterday was Friday, and I had got all the house cleaning done by Thursday and the garden was ready for weeding, so throughout the morning I alternated between yard work, laundry, cleaning the fireplaces and laying the fires, making olive bread and lemon rolls from Richard Bartinet's Dough.
(Did I remember to blog the news that we're off special diets? Although I heard from several reputable sources that blood tests can contradict bio-resonance for food intolerances, what swung my decision was that there had been no change in either of the Littles' 'symptoms': Zene's bowel problem remained, and Leo is as hyperactive as ever. Diet? What diet? “If it makes no difference,” D, my friendly neighbourhood child psychologist told me. “Don't do it!” Her own now-adult daughter is highly intolerant to many foods, yet her blood work and skin tests showed no allergies.)
Half an hour before the lunch onslaught began yesterday, I even found time to write. Usually my writing, such as it is, is crammed into a dawn half hour before the breakfast rush begins. On days when Best Beloved is not here, my phone alarm plays Lizst at 5.30 and I make coffee on the bedroom kettle and write until six, usually doing some sorts of warm-ups or prompts that I've found on creative writing websites – Writing Forward is a good one. Since I'm usually barely awake and suffering the dulling effects of the evening before's half-bottle of wine, some strange and straggly words often appear on the page.
“It's a great exercise, though,” my friend Lise told me when she suggested writing in the dawn. “It really clears your head out for the coming day.” And it's a great time to jot down dreams...
Another wonderful writing site that I've found recently is www.oneword.com. Check it out, it's truly addictive – and how I miss it on Fridays!
Blessed silence reigns during Friday mornings. The seething of something on the stove, the crackle and pop of the fireplace. I didn't get too much time to enjoy it before the Littles came rushing in to claim their lunch, but for the whole day I could enjoy the silence in my head: no emails to answer, no newspaper-inspired indignation. No Facebook updates...
Maybe I'll start fasting on Wednesdays, too.