As I mentioned previously, this year for Lent I’m taking on the discipline of being mindful. I mentioned that I’m not 100% sure what this was going to look like, and that I’m open to adjusting the practice as Lent progresses, but my starting points were removing the social media apps from my phone, no television/movies aside from a planned activity with friends or while I was exercising, and daily quiet times.
Over the past 2ish weeks I’ve noticed that I’ve simply replaced mindless watching with mindless reading! Since Lent began I have read 11 books, which is a bit excessive. I live alone, so I think that I usually use the TV to fill the quiet (and, honestly, sometimes loneliness), and since it’s been quiet I’ve been filling that with reading. However, this has proven to be more harmful than the TV watching – I’m staying up too late, I’m reading books on my Kindle app on my phone during the time when I’m normally on my social media apps on my phone . . . at least I can multi-task when I’m watching TV, that’s not an option with reading a book!
So I think I’m revising this practice. I can watch television (but not Nexflix) when I’m working (honestly, I work better with the background noise), but not when I’m just sitting down to watch TV. And I can read books, but no more than an hour on weekdays, and on weekends no more than 2 hours at a time (with the exception of travel – I’ve got hours to spend in an airport this weekend). I’m also removing the Kindle app from my phone.
That feels a bit more balanced to me, and definitely still in keeping with my intent for Lent.