This Lent I tried to give up two of my psychological props with rather mixed success. This Maundy Thursday, I’m reflecting on how it’s gone so far.To be fair, I decided to allow Instagram as a creative outlet. That had unexpected dangers, Checking my phone meant notifications – and notifications meant temptation. The attention-seeking part of me wanted to know if anyone missed me.
As for the booze, I decided that on my birthday, I would allow myself a drink or two. This year it fell on Mothering Sunday. Many of you will know I don’t find that particular celebration easy. I was surprised, but I really wasn’t that bothered about the alcohol. I had wine with a lovely meal – and it didn’t immediately make me want to become a lush on a regular basis.
Confession is good for the soul – and Lent for me is all about giving the poor thing some love. So I will admit I had some bubbly to celebrate my husband’s achievements at a company do. Just as well – the singer they had was toe-curlingly overenthusiastic. My liver seems to have enjoyed the rest – it took very little to feel quite mellow.
I am glad I have done this again – and whilst I won’t ever be teetotal, I like being more selective about what goes down my gullet.
It’s a different tale with Social Media.
What I missed and why I am a recidivist
- the company of my peers – not just writers but the assortment of interesting people who share fascinating things on-line
- helping others – it maybe something of a saviour complex but I giving others the benefit of my experience
- the chat – anyone who knows me IRL knows how much I can blather on
- scoops & news – I feel a hick not keeping up with the world of children’s books and my other enthusiasms
On the good side
- more time for reading
- more focus on my writing
- less stress dripping into my well of creativity
- less of that overwhelming sensation of too much data – my email inboxes are pretty sparse now, for example
What I have learned
- it’s horribly easy to find an addiction stuck to you like a leech
- it can be a surprise which temptations are tougher to deal with
- keeping my focus on my creative projects is hard but essential
- I miss my pals too much to go dark altogether!
What would you try doing without – and why?