Monday, 6 April 2009

Green Sunday

Yesterday was my first attempt at Green Sunday, and it worked wonderfully well. As I said in my last post, I couldn't go the whole way because of my oxygen machine, and the subsequent inadvisability of using candles - but it was a good start, and created a completely different feel to the day for me.

Usually over breakfast I automatically turn on the TV while I eat. I always have plenty to watch, because we have a satellite box that stores programmes. After the first one finishes, it's all too easy to start a second, especially if I am knitting and want entertainment while I do so.

Before I know it, it's lunchtime, and I'm feeling guilty for not having spent any time in silence.

After lunch, off to bed for rest and relaxation - and checking my emails, which usually leads to my mooching about online, doing nothing much, all afternoon. Suddenly it's dinnertime, and I feel guilty that I haven't rested properly, or done anything really constructive (except on Mondays, when I can at least congratulate myself on blogging!).

Over dinner, and for the rest of the evening, my son and I watch TV and chat, while I knit. At least, with the stored programmes, we can pause the programme to discuss things. Before we had that, it was a choice of missing part of the programme, or speaking - and we usually didn't speak.

At bedtime, the temptation to check emails again is very strong, and I suddenly realise I have spent an hour online and should be asleep. Not a very restful way to wind down.

Yesterday I ate my breakfast while watching the cats playing, and looking out of the window at the beautiful day. I enjoyed it much more for not eating like a robot. After breakfast, I read a little from my current 'spiritual book' (12 Quakers and Evil), and kept silence for 30 minutes or so. I felt relaxed and calm, and wide awake - I wasn't passively sitting in a tide of noise. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning.

I knitted till lunchtime, enjoying the quiet, and my own thoughts, and after lunch, went to bed.

It was very hard not to switch the laptop on. I even felt a little panicky. I cheated a bit and listened to some music, something I hadn't done for a long time. I quite often have music on as a background, but this was the first time for ages that I had intentionally sat down to listen.

I knitted while listening - knitting is my default activity, if you haven't twigged that by now! - until I felt my eyes closing, then settled for the nap I am supposed to have every couple of days. When I woke up, it was nearly dinnertime.

While I waited for Richard to cook dinner, I completed a crossword - another thing I love that I never seem to have time for any more. While we ate, Richard wanted the TV on, so we had an hour of TV. It seemed very loud and intrusive after my relaxing day.

After that, it was back to bed with my knitting and a cup of tea, and a talking book on my MP3 player. That was cheating too, as it gets charged from the mains - but I really enjoyed the quiet voice of the reader, and the images in my head.

I settled down to sleep about two hours earlier than normal, and slept like a hibernating bear.

I was actually a little apprehensive about doing this, but it worked better than I hoped, even though I cheated in a couple of places. (Richard is completely unimpressed by the idea, but I intend to work on him.) I want to do it as a regular weekly event now, and I'm taking some of the things I learned into other days, too. The no-TV breakfast, followed by a time of silence, is going to be a daily habit, as it was so much nicer a way to start the day. Also, I'm going to try to stop myself firing up the laptop on an evening - the afternoon is enough. I don't think it will be every afternoon, either.

Definitely a good experience!


Mary Sharpe said...

Quite extraordinary that panicky feeling when stopped from checking emails, isn't it? I certainly get that too.

I'm not an addictive kind of person but using the computer and internet have brought me closer to addiction than anything. I think it's quite illuminating.

I have a torch with a press handle . . . you keep pressing the handle and that generates power which is stored in a battery for when you need light. It works well for walking around in the dark but, as I discovered during Earth Hour, it's not very good when it comes to reading. That . . . and having to do some vigorous pressing every now and then to create more light . . . with all sorts of noisy cogs going whirring round . . . it is very UN-peaceful!


P.S. Why is Richard 'The Beamish Boy'. Clearly there is an allusion I am missing. M.

RichardM said...

It sounds like this is a good experiment for you. I've been thinking about severely reducing or eliminating TV from my life. Your post is inspiring me to make a move in that direction.