Awakening Some Virtues

A couple weeks ago, I issued an invitation to join me in a little reading adventure. No one decided to join me, but that’s ok. I think traveling through Awakening the Quieter Virtues one virtue a week will still be a good summer adventure for me. Some weeks I’ll probably take on the challenges in the book, and some weeks, I’ll probably just read the chapter and absorb it.

This week, I’m going to park on the intro of the book because its challenge caught my attention. The intro talks about noise, defining it as “everything that clamors for our attention.” Clearly not all this noise is wrong, but unfiltered and passively consumed, the noise changes how we approach life. The book observes that “when noise overwhelms us, we move from one urgency to the next.” And, I would add that often when we’re overwhelmed by noise we give some things a status of urgent that they do not deserve.

The book suggests a complete 24 hour media fast — no phone, no email, no movies, no advertisements. Hm… I’m not going to do that. I’m trying to get online work done this week before I leave for Louisville. I don’t get to talk to Todd unless I’m online or on the phone, and my parents are out of town and calling into check on their dog. So, the complete media fast is out.

I’m adapting the challenge though by narrowing the parameters and lengthening the time frame. So here’s my adapted challenge to last until next Tuesday:

  • No extraneous web searching. I won’t let myself for the next week visit fun blogs or look at home decorating sites or even get sucked into news websites.
  • One Facebook visits a day. Even admitting that this is going to be a challenge is a clear signal that its a good challenge.
  • One visit to my blog per day. I’m trying to make keeping this blog up more of a habit, so I don’t want to stop momentum.

That’s it. There’s the challenge. I’m not going to chuck my tv out the window or pop the battery out of my phone or otherwise lower a cone of silence around the house. Those three limitations address the bulk of where I spend my media time, and I think those three limitations in themselves for even one week will help me envision ways that I could be letting noise cloud out other tasks or enjoyable pursuits where my time would be better spent. For example, instead of checking in on what is being said about my dead possum incident over on Facebook, I’m going to go get the tiles for the bathroom floor out of the basement, so I can move that project towards completion.

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