Media Fast

My Precision Nutrition program experiment today is to go on a media fast. This program has encouraged me to experiment with lots of things. Some I did. Some I decided I did not want to do. I’m actually getting a little irritated with all the experiments, and I’m an experiment sort of gal. I got up this morning ready to dig in to my tea, my NYT articles and my beloved NPR podcasts. Without any warning, my audio lesson today told me I was going on a media fast. I’m NOT doing that!

I wrestled with the thought of what I would do riding to work in silence. How am I going to sit for my intentionally long morning drinking tea to silence? This is ridiculous. I don’t have to do this. The only thing they allow me to read is fiction or something for work. I actually do have a book that I need to read for work, so I could probably make that happen. But I want to listen to The Daily!!! Surely they would understand there is an impeachment trial going on. I wrestled and fidgeted and squirmed until I realized this was what withdrawal feels like. I’ve been here before.

I’ve been here when I decided to cut out sugar. I’ve been here when I decided to cut out coffee. I mean, if I can’t drink coffee, why can’t I read the New York Times? And, to be honest, for many, many years I didn’t really use media. I don’t have television, so I got used to that almost 20 years ago. I quit reading newspapers and listening to news when my anxiety got so bad that I had no choice. And I have quit social media before. This is a nutrition program! Why do they care about media?

I finally decided I’m not doing it. This is a stupid idea. I know what will happen if I don’t engage with media. That’s a no-brainer. I’m not sure why I have to go through with it. So I make my tea satisfied with my planned rebellion. The kitties and Ashok pile up on the sofa beside me ready for my morning ritual of media and caffeine consumption. I attempt to press the power button on my computer, but I don’t do it. Now I feel guilty. Why can’t I do this? It’s one day for God’s sake.

I decided to sit in silence for about five minutes until I decided otherwise. I did a body scan. I sipped my tea. I listened to the purring of my cats and the soft breathing of my dog. All of a sudden, my dream from last night popped into my mind. I had a camel. I had a boat. And the camel followed me around like a dog. In fact, I really think the camel was Ashok because it had that same sweet, devoted personality. “What if you were a camel,” I asked her. She looked at me quizzically. “We’d have to get you a bigger kennel,” I said.

My boat was the size of a small cruise ship. I must have been rich in this dream. I jumped off my yacht to go to an island in the dream. I swam over and then remembered that I didn’t turn the boat off. I watched it as it drifted out to sea with no one aboard. But then I remembered my camel, and I was happy. In my dream, I was perfectly comfortable letting go of things.

Actually in just 10 minutes life was already sort of interesting. Maybe this experiment could be fun. So I sat for a few more minutes. My tea tasted a little better being the center of my attention. It’s an oolong chai laced with homemade almond milk. It’s quite yummy as a matter of fact. My ankles are a bit sore so I circle them some to loosen them up. It’s so quiet. I can hear the internet router over there dying to get in my head. The heat is kicking on and off. My neighbor’s light is on across the street. I wonder if he is consuming media.

I want to write. Hey, I can write! I’m not consuming media when I write. I can create media. There was nothing said about that. And the fact is I’ve been so busy in my habit of consuming media these days there has been no room for writing in my schedule or in my head. That bubbling desire felt a little odd. So I decide to go for it. And here I am, writing! Now if you comment on social media, I won’t see it today. If you comment here, I’ll check it. That’s not media. That’s human connection.

I’m going for it. It’s time to eat breakfast and get dressed anyway. It went by pretty fast, and work will be nonstop and action-packed as usual. I don’t have time for media anymore during work. Today there will be no inspirational reading, no Donald Trump, no fitness podcasts, no music on the ride to work and no other media distractions whatsoever. I’m sure if there is an emergency I will hear about it, but I won’t read about it or hear it on the news. I’ll find out what happened today tomorrow. I could get bored, but, lately I’ve been saying I’d love to be bored for a few minutes anyway. Be careful what you wish for!

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50 Something single woman in Michigan who loves the outdoors, people, running and hiking.

2 thoughts on “Media Fast

  1. Such an excellent post! Hurrah for you! And we ended up with a outstanding example of dedication to ideals, focus, restraint, and overcoming temptation! Wow! Well done and thank you for walking us through the difficulties/possibilities of changing our habits, addictions, time wasters!

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