Alright. I've decided to take on the challenge and to be honest, just the thought of it requires that I muster every drop of determination in my body.
In the spirit of the Lenten season, I have decided to sacrifice Facebook (FB). I've chosen Facebook because I figured this is the one thing that I feel is most difficult to give up right now but can or should be given up. It needs to be something important enough to me for it to be considered a sacrifice. I said sacrifice because I don't want to have any of you thinking that I'm totally giving it up for the whole season. It's more of a Facebook 'diet' and not a full-blast deprivation lest I completely lose my mind (like most fanatical-all-for-deprivation-let-me-completely-starve-myself 'dieters' out there). And believe me, it's going to be a HUGE sacrifice because, though I admit this with much hesitation, let's face it...I'm addicted. Hi, I'm Joy and I'm a Facebook addict. I do turn on my computer first thing in the morning and log on to FB. As soon as I serve my son his breakfast, even before I feed myself, I sneak into the other room to sit in front of my laptop just so I can check out the latest Farmville and Cafe World rewards, giveaways and latest 'gifts'. Before I know it, the slice of bread I've toasted for myself has turned cold and rock hard, all because I've been too absorbed 'harvesting', 'planting', 'cooking', 'redecorating' and 'gifting' in my virtual worlds. Upon realizing how unattractive breakfast has now become, I then just opt to further waste more time entertaining myself by browsing through my friends' latest statuses and posting comments for a few.
By this time, guilt sets in and then I decide to go back to my son and my household chores for a few hours. But for every bit of break needed from these chores, I still go back to my laptop for you-know-what. So there. They say the first step to recovery is honesty and there it is. I've let it out into the world wide web and there's no taking it back. I have now committed myself to my Lenten sacrifice and I have all of you as my witnesses. With this is the hope that even after Lent, I'd still be less of an addict, to say the least.
So here are the details of how I'm planning to accomplish this.
Like I said, totally giving it up is not realistic for me and I don't want to set myself up for total failure. At the same time, I want it to be difficult enough to even count for Lent. Therefore, in terms of time spent, I've decided that I will limit my FB time (browsing, commenting, posting and playing games) to only two hours per week.
But this means I cannot (and would be silly to choose to) sit in front of my computer for one day and consume all two hours. At the same time, I think the 2hrs per week limit is realistic enough for me to still keep my sanity and give me my dose of entertainment without going overboard. With this, it would feel as a sacrifice but at the same time, urge me to do more productive and worthwhile things like play with Noah, read more, write more and organize whatever needs organizing inside the home.
I will have a notebook beside my laptop to keep track of my FB time when I log on. I will also keep an alarm to help me keep to my daily limits. All this will start by Monday of next week, February 22 and end on Easter. Hopefully, my brain synapses would have been amply trained by that time. I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed. I am encouraging support from my FB friends and help me 'monitor' myself. Of course this is primarily an honor-system sort of thing but I'm giving you all the authority to call my attention when you feel my FB visibility getting way too much again.
I know I'll most likely end up losing my 'rank' in the games I play on FB (i.e. I won't have as much 'experience points' planting and cooking on Farmville and Cafe World) but that's just the thing. I'm doing this with the hope that what I lose in my virtual world I'll gain in the real world....my spiritual world. All that spare time should not only make me engage more in the physical world but also make me reflect more on the true meaning of Lent.
Have you thought about your own sacrifices yet, assuming you observe Lent of course? May God/the Universe bless us all!