Take a break and recharge.

6 Mar

Just this afternoon I learned that I missed out on The National Day of Unplugging 2011, which ran from sundown, Friday, March 4 to sundown, Saturday, March 5. I’m sorry I did.  A group known as The Sabbath Manifesto, “created by a group of Jewish artists in search of a modern way to observe a weekly day of rest,” began this yearly celebration in 2010. What a great idea! As the group says “way back when, God said, “On the seventh day thou shalt rest.”

Yet we all keep going, as though Sunday was any other day of the week. Okay, I go to church. But, not before checking both of my email accounts, my Facebook, and my WordPress site stats! And not before watching the morning news shows. After church, it’s off to Target to check off all the items on my shopping list. Then to Sam’s Club. Then home. And back to the computer. Back to Facebook, email, and WordPress — for one more check! Then, while I’m cooking dinner, I’ll flip on the TV to watch a favorite show on reruns. In the evening, the family gathers around the TV after dinner, texting, emailing and Facebooking all the while.

Rest?

As The Sabbath Manifesto states:  “The meaning behind it [God’s command] was simple: Take a break. Call a timeout. Find some balance. Recharge.”

A couple of weeks ago, I did just that, but only for a weekend. I went away for a silent retreat. No technology. One time a year? It’s not enough. So, I got to thinking about it and it occurs to me that Lent begins this Wednesday. During Lent I fast. Usually I give up something like coffee or Diet Coke or chocolate or sweets. Recently, I learned– okay, maybe I should have known this all along but I didn’t — that rather than giving up chocolate during Lent and then gorging on a basket filled with it Easter morning, I should fast from something that I want to remove from my life. I should fast to change my behavior and after Lent, after Easter, I should maintain my new behavior. Whatever it is. With that in mind, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be the perfect time to begin to “keep holy the Sabbath?”

So, that’s what I’ve decided to do. I may have missed out on the National Day of Unplugging 2011 but I’m going to take a weekly time-out on Sundays during Lent and hope that I have the strength to maintain my new behavior after Lent. I’m going to do my best to interpret the group’s core principles, listed here:

1. Avoid technology

2. Connect with loved ones

3. Nurture your health

4. Get outside

5. Avoid commerce

6. Light candles

7. Drink wine

8. Eat bread

9. Find silence

10. Give back

I’m going to keep the computer, TV, and cell phone off on Sundays. I’m going to do my shopping on the other six days of the week. I’m going to prepare a homecooked meal, with love, for my family. I’m going to light candles, drink wine, and play a board game with my family. I’m going for a long walk with my dogs. I’m going to set aside a special time for prayer and journaling at the end of the day.

So, don’t look for a blog post from me on Sundays. I’m going to “Take a break. Call a timeout. Find some balance. Recharge.” I’m going to “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath.”

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One Response to “Take a break and recharge.”

  1. Martha March 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Did you know that March is National Craft Month? Thought I’d announce that on your blog–but you’ve probably listed it here somewhere! 🙂 I sent out my evites tonight for the March 30 party. You told me to invite 40–which I thought was nuts. And when it was all said and done, I sent out 95 emails. Maybe we need to rent another house! 🙂

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