Matt and Andrea, field of yellow, Half Moon Bay, CA Canon Rebel Xti
Matt and I have been on a media cleanse for the last week. This means that we didn’t watch any television or movies and did minimal email checking, internet surfing and phone calls. The purpose of this experiment was simply to have a consciousness around our habits, to see what the impulse was to plug in, what drove the habitual (sometimes obsessive) behavior. What was the feeling that preceded the moment when I would reach for the tv, the internet, the phone? was it loneliness? boredom? What was so scary about simply being in the moment I was in? I was also really curious about what would show up in the space where those other things were.
Let me begin by saying that I am amazed at how much it changed our lives in only one week.
Matt and I have been complaining for the last two years (since we moved into our house) that there is no room for a dining table in our home. (We actually have a dining table but we use it as a work table in the office) We complain about this problem regularly and are a little embarrassed to have people over for dinner because it means we all have to sit on the carpet around the coffee table.
After a mere two days of no tv, we had a major revelation. It occurred to us for the very first time that if we got rid of our television we would have plenty of room for a dining table. How did this not even cross our minds before?! The matrix had us!
We sold the television yesterday to our neighbor. As radical as that would have sounded last week, it was the easiest choice in the world. We are giddy with the thought of our new living room and all of the beautiful meals we will have, the friends we will sit and drink wine with at our new table, and most importantly, the attention we will have again for each other. It’s a whole new life, truly.
Honestly, I didn’t think I was such a tv or internet junkie until I put in on pause for the week. I was amazed to see how much time I spend keeping up on things that aren’t ultimately very important. I am feeling cleaner somehow, more grounded, less cluttery in my mind, more together… like my life is more in line with who I want to be, and how I want to be living my life. There is more music and less noise. Both in my head and in my home.
This week I created more time to breathe, more room to think new thoughts and more space to be creative again. It turns out I am full of ideas, projects, paintings, poety. I am full of homecooked meals, homemade blankets and spontaneous dance parties. I am full of backgammon and scrabble, wine with good friends and hikes in the woods. I am full of dreams and travel and books I want to write.
Did any of you join me in this little experiment? What did you discover? Not to overstate this, but I discovered a whole new life that was right under my nose all this time. I am very excited about it.