Monday, September 24, 2012

Day One...Listening to the Silence

My husband and I get into these impassioned discussions about our future and what we need to achieve our goals.  Usually, it's just talking but yesterday we decided that we really needed to do something, however small to show our dedication towards self improvement.  I talked a really good game about how we should give up something that we really like 'for the greater' good of being more productive, and being more present in everything that we do.  So...I gave up TV, if my husband would give up video games and I woke up this morning to a heart drawn on a piece of paper to remind me of this fact.
there is a heart drawn on that paper--if you look closely!

Let me tell you about my TV viewing habits. I record quite a few shows and almost never 'watch' them. I listen to them while I crochet, clean, cook, chat and play on facebook.  I don't have the TV on all of the time, but I do have it on too much.  I think it's one of them rebel things from when I was a kid and my parents exercised extreme control over our television viewage. I like having background noise, and the radio reception for NPR is awful in our house. I was trying to think of something that I could give up that would be in some way equal to his video games, that I might learn something from giving up for a week.

I am engaged in a constant battle with my husband over how much time he spends playing video games. Actually on the flipside of that, he thinks that watching TV is mindless brain rot since you aren't interacting with the environment. So in the end, we both think that we are rotting our brains.  We have so much to do though, and are always feeling overwhelmed with our responsibilities, and planning for the future.  Something needed to give.  So I came up with this idea that we give up something that we like, something that means something to us, and instead engage more actively and fully in everything that we do.  We tend to do so much with our brains in one place, and our bodies in another, and I wanted to see how well we could come back to the present and be present in our daily activities.  Most of my cooking 'mistakes' are because I listen to audiobooks and get lost in the story and don't realize that I'm using phyllo dough instead of puff pastry, or that bread without salt tastes like air, or that you need to spray the damn pans first. that I'm thinking...I believe that all of my cooking mistakes are when I'm distracted, and I think in our lives today, we are all distracted.  We are thinking about everything that is going on all of the time, and don't know how to resolve it, or turn it off.  I'm so guilty of this. I read mindless fluff most of the time (I wholeheartedly admit) because it allows my brain to turn off for a period.

How will I deal with the quiet? I hate listening to the fridge make noise, and my computer sound like it's on it's last legs because it really needs to have the fan blown out. Well, I can try online radio (that has nothing to do with the election!), and I can get audiobooks, which frankly, help me to be more productive anyways because I can move around with them on.  I can also get used to the silence again.  Stop always filling the silence with more noise, stop running away from my thoughts, and see what I learn.

My goals for this week include getting ready for my second swap event on Sunday, clean my house, work on my blog and learn about personal finance and savings. It sort of hit me recently that you don't just magically know about finance and other 'adult' things, you have to be open to learning about them.  Why did it take me so long to figure out that out?

My husband's current google status is, "new status message - Day 1/7 without video games. It's going to be a loooooong week.   10:25 AM"


  1. Great idea! Good luck to both of you.

  2. Awesome!!! Should be a great experiment. This is a great book I read that you should enjoy. its short and full of observations through silence. She does a planned one monday a month or something, demonstrating that you can come up with a variety of different ways to practice silence.


  3. Good for you. I think maybe I'll try something like that but not this week. (lol) I also want to see if I can get out and get the mail every day. That would be good for me. I just got a bunch of books for my nook and could read those instead of having the TV on all day. I have Pandora on the Nook and when I read I usually listen to it so I'll have the background noise.
    The reason I don't start it this week is I have one more week without any appointments and want to enjoy it by watching mindless junk. Besides all the shows are having their season premiers this week and I want to catch them.
    I know excuses, excuses...................

  4. I actually have friends who SOLD their TV and video game stuff and have been free of it for a year and totally love it. But the whole family started up running/biking and then that's what they do after dinner every day.

    But god help me, I can't quit my VH1 Reality Shows. I just can't.

  5. Our topic the last couple of weeks in Sunday school has been about prayer, listening for God's voice, making time for conversation with God, and taking the time to listen instead of just asking/demanding. We talked a lot this week about the go,go,go of life and making the time to slow down. We also brainstormed when/how we might all try that this week. Ideas such as while taking a shower, commuting to/from work, before going to sleep at night, etc. So I applaud your efforts and look forward to hearing about the results! Also, it's a very Quaker thing (I went to a Quaker college) to do, so I've thought about that as well!


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