Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reading Allowed

Finished the week of Reading Deprevation which frankly, shocked me.

It was tough because reading is such a habit for me. I take a book every where I go and read to keep from becoming impatient while waiting, bothered when I'm on a plane or pitied when I'm dining alone. It's the thing I use to keep myself from getting completely bored with the rest of the world at times.

Not having that defensive tool was a bit anxiety provoking at times this week. I felt myself becoming a bit irritable and out of sorts on occassion.

The most difficult part was keeping myself from sitting in the recliner at the end of the day, playing something off iTunes and “numbing out” by reading blogs. Found myself “cheating” a bit on that one from time to time out of habit and was surprised at how much time I just sat there staring at the screen, bouncing back and forth from blog to blog, mindlessly reading but not posting. No redeeming value at all really. Exactly like mindlessly watching tv.

Think this exercise was worth doing because it forced me to be aware of other places to put my energy and attention. Being on a reading fast meant I couldn’t just pick up a book and ignore the pile of laundry in the hamper or the stack of dishes in the sink. Oddly, I found myself glad to see the stack of dishes because honestly, I was getting as bored as a kid on the third month of summer vacation.

I got quite a bit of housework done, listened to lots of music, listened to 6-7 TED Talks, talked on the phone to my nephew and brother, went out with a friend for coffee, and other friends for dinner and went to bed early. Most importantly, got all my photos organized, catagorized and edited.

The exercise is designed to get people to stop living in their heads and instead using all the senses to engage the world around them. That was definately the case with me. Although I felt a bit frustrated at times because I didn’t know what to do with my time or where to focus my energy, I got more done than I had been lately. Also, I slept alot more soundly than normal too.
Once I got passed the anxiety of not knowing what to do with myself, I felt more peaceful and serene too. More "centered" and focused too.

Hopefully, this exercise has begun to teach me how to take advantage of opportunities to be more fully present with the world instead of being face down in a book or a computer screen.


  1. Congratulions on surviving your experiment. Great observsations!

    I went out of town for four days and when I came home my computer had to go to the shop.
    I finished cleaning out my garage, organized my kitchen, found time to exercise and caught up with my homework I also was amazed at how much better I slept as well as less of my usual back and neck pain. Haven't taken advil or arthritis strength tylenol since not spending so much time on the web. Too much time mindlessly on the computer? I think so.

    I don't know if I could go without reading books too- I can't remember not reading before I fall asleep since a little kid!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. hey Anne,
    The not reading was a bit odd. I used to read myself to sleep too. Now I scope out various blogs.
    How's your back and neck pain doing?

  3. Better since I started doing more yoga than blogging!