After blogging on Tuesday, we lost phone service and Internet at our house. After many phone calls, visits from the repairman, two new routers, and hours of trying to get us connected to the Web again, we finally regained Internet service at 1:00 this morning. It's been a hassle and definitely stressful, especially with a son who is cyber schooled and was in the middle of exams. Oh, and half of the foods I am making this week for Christmas were found on Pinterest...and I couldn't access the recipes. Living up here on the mountain, our cell phone service is unstable at best, so even using our Smartphones wasn't an option. It's amazing how cut off from the rest of the world we feel now when we aren't connected virtually.
But I did begin this week at Mass praying for things to slow things down, quiet my mind, and allow my family to focus on this last week of Advent and what Christmas really means to us. And I would say my prayer was answered. As usual, it wasn't necessarily handled the way I would have chosen, but it was certainly effective.
Instead of being plugged into social media, news sites, email and blogger, Netflix and Amazon, Youtube and Minecraft, we found other ways to occupy our time. Children went sledding and played games. They painted and were crafty. They cleaned and tidied up their rooms. We spent so much more time together interacting with each other---talking, laughing, singing.
We baked cookies and reminisced and danced and watched old videos. We lived without electronic distractions. And things did sort of slow down and be still. The house still bustled with life and noise and messiness at times, but it was different from the buzzing of incoming messages, emails, and updates.
It was a blessing, actually. I won't lie and say I wasn't at all stressed out about it, but it was a lesson in how much time we actually spend on electronic devices. I believed that I greatly limit the time our children spend in front of a screen, but without Wifi, it became clear how much of our days are actually spent logged in throughout the day...myself included. So it is with mixed feelings of relief and anxiety that here I am this morning on the Internet blogging, checking messages and social media and stats. I'm glad that I can retrieve my Pinterest recipes so that I can prepare meals this weekend, but I do wish that we had more of a respite from the electronic distractions this time of year.
On that note, I'll leave you until next week, Dear Readers. May you all Have a Very Merry Christmas!