Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It Begins

Today is the beginning of Lent 2016.

Facebook is what I have chosen to give up for Lent.

A friend of mine (Hi Cindy!) on seeing my announcement suggested that I should journal my experiences during this season away from my main social media forum. So, I decided to blog about it. Ironically, this blog will be posting to Facebook every time I publish so the folks on my friends list are going to have a ringside seat to watch this whole crazy thing unfold.

I signed off Facebook at 10 this morning. I picked the time somewhat at random since I certainly wasn't going to go dark at midnight last night and waiting until receiving the imposition of ashes seemed a bit like cheating since I don't know if or where I might be attending Ash Wednesday services today due to my crazy schedule.

So what's the point? Well I'm not sure yet, here at the very beginning of the journey, but the reasons I chose Facebook instead of chocolate or caffeine or cursing or any of a hundred other things that I could have picked this year have to do with being more intentional. I need to be more intentionally aware of how I am spending my time. I need to be more intentionally aware of where I am investing my focus. I need to create space in my life for things more personally and spiritually productive and my biggest time suck is represented by that blue and white icon up there. I click that silly icon first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed. I click it during the night when I awaken for any reason. If you're one of my insomniac friends or one of my friends that works overnight chances are we've chatted at 3 or 4 in the morning. It's been just over an hour and I have already had to remove it from my phone's home screen because the habit of clicking it as soon as I unlock my phone is so deeply ingrained.

As I am typing this I get a notification that my cousin Alanna has mentioned me in a comment. I pick up my phone and hit clear. I have to trust that if it is important someone in the family with access will let me know. My daughter is acting as my secretary in groups where events I am working during lent are using Facebook as their primary means of communication. I am suddenly very aware of how annoying this has the potential to be. I know from past experience that it will be several days before I am not constantly resisting the automatic habit of checking my newsfeed. Fortunately each of those moments of decision will be an opportunity to practice my intention. I suppose I could have just deactivated my account until March 26th but where is the need for discipline in doing that? No, I need to leave the option open if this is going to be any kind of productive experience at all.

Lent is a season of redirecting my focus. My goals and hopes include creating some kind of order in my house so that I can have people over and interact with people in the real world, spending time being creative, spending time in my personal spiritual practices and bringing some sense of balance back into my life. Welcome along on my journey.

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