What do you get when you cross Lent with Sabbath?
I’m about to find out.
The last four years of moving to Virginia, living in Brooklyn as a “granny nanny,” writing a book, and traveling, have been wonderful. You might call this period of time The Active Life.
This style of living has been a great blessing to me. I relish waking up in the morning to a list of tasks to accomplish — and even more, going to bed after I have crossed them off my list. I even made a list of things to do when I went to a writers’ retreat!
Along the way, I have made thousands of new friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn. I even have Flickr , Tumblr, and Pinterest accounts, although I did draw the line on actively using all of these. Facebook has been my favorite. Twitter next.
Because of social media, the launch of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World was fun! Without social media, book sales would not have exceeded my hopes and dreams. Audiences at book talks would have been smaller. I would have traveled less.
As grateful as I am for the Active Life made possible by social media, there’s a part of me that needs more time for rest and reflection.
I crave a more Passive Life for awhile. I want to surrender to silence.
To show you how my brain has been trained, I wrote those words and then thought, “That would make a great tweet.”
I need to stop looking for inspiring 140-character quotes and start listening to my own questions.
I need to return to my favorite red chair where I read, write in longhand, and pray.
I want to lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help. I want to listen and notice.
When will the first signs of spring appear? How do the passages in the Lenten Meditation booklet stir signs of new life in my own spirit?
Here are the concrete steps I am taking. I make them public so that I will feel more accountable when I return.
1. I’m taking Facebook and Twitter off my phone.
2. I’m leaving my phone on my desk at night (and not taking it into the bedroom).
3. I’ll check my email, and I’ll send out a weekly Magical Memoir Moment to the people who have signed up to get one every week (see email signup on the upper right-hand column)
4. I’m giving up sugar while I’m at it!
Will I go crazy? I’ll keep track of my withdawal symptoms and try to go for walks when they get too bad. What else will I do?
I’ll spend a week helping out with grandchildren and another week in New York City getting ready to celebrate Owen’s fourth!! birthday and then Easter Sunday with my family in Pennsylvania.
I’ll also spend some time with that pesky Box in the Basement.
And when Easter comes, and Passover ends, I’ll come back here on April and report in.
In the meantime, I leave you with this Irish blessing I’ll look at every day:
Yes, if you look carefully, you’ll see my reflection as I took that picture. That’s where I’ll be. Behind the glass of the internet, looking out into nature itself.
Taking inspiration from Whitman:
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
Do you ever long to go on a social media fast or sabbatical? What questions do you have for me to think about during this last week before Ash Wednesday?