...of the Non-Electronics Kind.
Every February we attempt to purge from our routine our need to watch anything on TV, surf the internet, play video games on x-box, phone, tablet. We try to avoid getting sucked into Facebook, Pinterest, Wattpad, etc. The only exceptions were viewing email, which, could be checked only one time per day, computer use for school-assigned homework, church work, and skyping with family.
It's a family tradition that we've attempted to respect nearly every year for the past six years. It arose from trying in vain to keep our kids, and who-am-I-kidding - MYSELF, from becoming electronic zombies. With our wet winters it seems like we turn on the ever-addicting devises more and more throughout the dark months until Jan. It's a fight to turn them off at all.
Homework done - plug in.
Just got home - plug in.
Can't figure what to treat a stain with - plug in and then browse the internet for hours.
I get distracted really easily and so do my kids.
Our success in February is dependent on how much effort we put into it.
So we started... on February 1st, I mean February 2nd. Only because our Seahawks were playing in the Superbowl on the 1st. So, let me rephrase, we started on February 2nd. Why February? It's the shortest month of the year.
I invited our three boys, who have left the nest, to join in too. Don't know whether or not they did, but, I do know they repeatedly reminded me that it was our non-electronic month.
How did we do?
Well on day two of our experiment, Hope and Princess were pulling out their My Little Pony Characters and they decided that they wanted to paint them and individualize some to represent characters of their own creation. They politely asked if they could use my craft paint.
'Of course', I said happily sitting in the next room, feeling smug and content about how quickly they were finding ways to keep themselves occupied without whining about how bored they were. What a fine way to start off the experiment.
Not more than ten minutes later Hope let me know she had cut her finger.
'Yeah, yeah, well go wash it off in the bathroom,' I replied, now totally engrossed in my re-reading of J.R.R.Tolkein's LOTR trilogy.
Hope then asked me to come help. So I sighed heavily, slowly putting the book down and made my way to the bathroom.
Apparently in addition to borrowing my paints, she also borrowed my exacto knife. Her finger was the first Opp-sie of our month of trying to entertain ourselves. Princess offered to clean up the blood sprayed all over the bathroom walls and sink and I stuffed a paper towel in Hope's hand and we hopped in the car and made our way to Urgent care. Three stitches later she was pretty proud of her craft wound and thrilled that she had a blood story to share with the kids at school.
Now, if I'd just let them plug in like normal this $700 plus Medical visit wouldn't have happened. Yes, that's what our insurance paid for three stitches, the clinic charged over $1,000, but that's a different rant story.
So you would think I'd give up and let them plug in again. NO WAY!
What I love about this month. We play board games often, we talk more, visit more, cook from scratch more, we are more physically active, the kids really improve in their schooling, etc. You name it, we are a much better family at the end of the month.
This year we did cheat a few times.
Pompa and Grandma came to visit and three of our numbers were down with a nasty cold/cough bug which kept us from dining out, or going out for entertainment. So we introduced them to 'How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2'. We also took our girls to Prince Erik's work on the last Saturday of February to play video games. Oh, and I did cheat and snuck onto facebook a few times to see what was going on. Saw pictures my beautiful new niece, with her four big brothers. I stole this picture from my Sis-in-laws facebook page. It has three of baby angel's big brothers, herself, her mom, my mom and my grandma in it. What really cool is this was taken in the home I was raised in. So excited for yet another new member of the family to make memories in a wonderful home.
That was a necessary cheat. Other times, not so much.Here's what really stuck out to me this year. I did notice that I really needed a break from Facebook and Pinterest. I would get too wrapped up and invested in what everyone else was doing. I think it's the modern equivalent of spying on the neighbors over the fence, while your outside, pretending to do laundry or yard work. Granted, sometimes, like seeing new family, it can be really comforting, or inspirational. But it really is an emotional drainer too. I used to get worked up about causes, events, unfairness, politics, negative religious rants, etc. I didn't realize how much negative energy I spent on Facebook. Or how that energy would stick with me and affect how I was feeling are reacting to my family who knew nothing about what I was fuming about.
As for Pinterest, wow, what great ideas. I'll sit on the computer and dream of the fantastic things I can do instead of getting off my hind end and actually doing something.
Thank you February, I think our Non-Electronic Tradition will continue on next year, and the year after. And instead of reading about everyone's else's business, I'll write about my own.
It's good to be blogging again. Oh, so much has happened, but I'll save that adventure for another time.