It's like I told my friend when I was discussing this conviction with her, "do I really need to know what *enter obscure high school classmate who I wasn't even friends with then* is having for lunch?" The answer was no. Of course not. So why waste precious moments with my little family filling my head with such useless information?
The clarity of thought and refocus that I experienced throughout that week was such a refreshment to my soul. I didn't know what anyone else was doing unless we chatted on the phone or texted, and no one knew what I was doing. It inspired me to give up something new each week for the span of a week, and to redirect old habits. Eliminating something completely for a specified amount of time makes a big impact - it's realistic, achievable, and it helps me "reset". My hope was/is that after my breaks, I'll be better aware and make the best decisions in how I fill my time, how I fill my mind, and how I fill my body.
Living in a world of excess and easy access, it's been good and healthy for me practicing such self restraint and giving myself limitations. Hey, I give my children restrictions, why not throw some in there for myself? Just because we are adults doesn't mean we should get everything we want when we want it. That's not healthy.
Let's recap my weeks so far.
The first day of my "break", I caught myself mindlessly opening the app on my phone without even thinking about what I was doing! Then I gasped and quickly shut out of it before I saw anything! If that doesn't scream "HABIT!", I don't know what does. I was annoyed with myself. As the days went on, I rarely even thought about the little blue app. I also had such a clear mind that it was amazing! Now, that may sound extreme, but I'm serious. I could think easier, recall things quicker, and my imagination was greater!
I found myself less aware of my phone. I didn't even know where it was half the time. I became better focused on my children, my husband, and myself. I came up with new ideas and as goofy as this sounds, I didn't think in the form of status updates. HA! So ridiculous.
This was a great week, and when it was over, I crept quietly back on and you know what? I didn't miss it a bit. Ever since my "Facebreak", I have limited myself to checking/updating just a couple times a day, typically during nap time and after the boys are in bed (which is when I do my blogging). And some days, I don't even open it at all. Refocus and repurpose.
Now this was going to be a toughie, because I love sweet treats. Even if it's just an Oreo after dinner, I like that little bit of sweetness in my tummy. This happened to fall on the week that I was making dinner for my sweet friend with a new baby, and I made ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies that looked and smelled really good. Levi was my little taste tester, and since I couldn't try them, I have no idea how they turned out.
One day I really wanted a cupcake.
Fruit and yogurt were a great substitute and by mid-week, I found myself not missing it a bit. Actually, I went almost two weeks without sugar because even though I was free to eat it after the first week, I didn't want it. I even lost a pound! Refocus and repurpose.
* DIET COKE
Um. This one was the hardest by a landslide. Guys, I am physically ADDICTED to the stuff. I hoped that this "break" would cure me from my DC-a-day habit. I drink one every morning (it's my coffee), and ALWAYS with Mexican food.
I had a miserable headache for three solid days.
I lasted until Thursday when Husby wanted to go out for pizza and convinced me you can't have pizza without a Diet Coke.
I failed that one miserably. After that first sip, I threw it all out the window and drank it the rest of the week. I couldn't help but compare this little experiment with our sin nature. Now, even though drinking Diet Coke is not a sin (or I'd be in a world of hurt), I set out to not do it. I told myself that for that week it was "wrong" and not to do it. And what happened? I was tempted, it sounded good and fun, and I gave in. Isn't that what we do time and again as sinful beings? We mess up (sin), fess up (confession to God), and we start over.
.... even though I didn't start over. I'm drinking a big Diet Coke with lime as I type this.
I need an intervention.
I didn't refocus. Diet Coke consumed my every thought that week. I didn't repurpose. I'm still an addict.
This specific week was supposed to be television, but I just so happened to be starting a new health plan. So although this plan is way longer than a week, I wanted to document it. Three of the four weeks I am reviewing here have to do with consumption, and I wish now that I had switched my weeks with some other things I have planned. Oh well, consumption is something a lot of us struggle with! Can I get an amen?
This specific health plan limits carbs (not completely - you just eat good carbs, nothing white, etc.), so not only would I be eliminating most of the things my body was used to having, but I was also adding good, nutrient dense things to my diet.
First of all, I can't tell you how much better I feel not eating junk and an excess of carbs. I have so much more energy, my hunger has redirected itself, I rarely think about food, and just all around feel great. This week has been the best week for the physical portion of my body, and is something I am implementing in my lifestyle until I reach my goal of "healthy". And even then, I will probably incorporate permanently to an extent. Refocus and repurpose.
These past four weeks have been really great for me. For my body, for my health, for my mind, and my soul. I feel like I have a greater grasp on four of the things that really had a hold on me. (Well, except for Diet Coke. Drat.) Sometimes, all it takes is a little break to open the skies and to have an awakening! I am loving this weekly break system, and once I feel like I've run out of things, I will rotate my list and give up some of the same things.
The goal after each week was to take that thing and to put it back in it's place in my life. So, thankfully, each of these four categories are sitting quietly on their respective branches, instead of inside the looming cloud covering everything. Breaks are good. Limitations are necessary. Even for adults. Especially for adults.
Refocus and repurpose.
Consciously and constantly.