The fifteen bloggers who participated in the TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge were not the only participants. The day before the beginning of the challenge I was contacted by a blog reader who was also interested in participating in TV Turn-Off Week. She told me her goals and promised an email update at the end of the week. She kindly gave me permission to share her TV Turn-Off story on my blog.
This reader was not concerned about turning off the TV, but worried about her ability to do without the computer, the “other screen.” Her goals for the week were the following:
“1) All computer time needs to be related either to the school carnival I am chairing or to family matters. Everything else will have to wait a week (that includes reading your blog)!
2) Try to re-focus on my New Year’s Resolution. I called it (notice the past tense) PPP. Pride (in my house), Patience (with my children) and Punctuality.
3) Read to my two younger children (ages 5 & 7) at least 20 minutes each day (we have fallen out of the habit). My son is struggling with reading so he reads to me daily. However, I need to read to him more, so he’ll be reminded about how fun books can be.
4) The kids need to be fed (with homework completed) before Dad comes home at 6:30. My dh is a great guy and he works really hard all day long. When he gets home I want him to be able to relax and have some fun with the kids.”
As promised, the day after the challenge ended she emailed me with her result:
“The good news? I was able to stick to my challenge for 4 days.
The bad (discouraging) news? See above.
I will most likely do my version of the challenge at a later date (I’ll keep you posted). I am always up for a challenge. BTW – did read with the kids more last week and we all enjoyed it. And I was more conscious of PPP (Pride, Patience and Punctuality).”
I think she should be proud of herself for having been recreationally computer-free for four days! As I learned last week, that can be very difficult. I don’t know if I could have had it off, except for strict business matters, for four days.
I like her PPP New Year’s Resolution. I think I need to work on that too, especially the “Punctuality” part! It seems that when we turn off our TVs and/or computers (whatever “screen” occupies our time), we do instantly have more time and “mental energy” for focusing on positive things like this reader’s PPP.
I had a similar personal revelation today. Today I took care of a friend’s one year-old, so I was caring for two one year-olds (only three months apart in age!). Dueling babies. It was rather like having twins I suppose. I had decided ahead of time that I would simply have to stay offline. I did check email and comments once during their nap, but otherwise I really was not online.
Since I had already decided that I would not have time for the computer today, I was able to deal with the very mobile, busy babies with mindfulness. My mind was not on what might be happening online. As a consequence, the day went quite smoothly and actually seemed almost easier than some days when it is just me and my one year-old…and my computer!
It all went better for me than during the Blog Challenge where my mind was always half on my computer even as I tried to do other things. It seems to me that FOCUS is the key to success. My reader seemed to have this experience also. Whether it is a “PPP New Year’s Resolution,” or caring for extra babies, the ability to not just turn it off, but forget it, not even expect it, is the key to success.
Thanks so much to this reader who took the time to do the challenge with us, report back, and agree to let me share her story!