“Experts” exhort us to take a holiday from our smart phones and other tech tools. Most of us ignore this advice because we are afraid of missing out on what is going on.
Last week, my health professional prescribed a tech–fast weekend– including my landline, microwave, and car. Friday night, with a little anxiety, I turned off all my devices, put my car in the garage, and vowed not to use the microwave.
Did I miss out? You decide.
When Saturday morning dawned, I ate my usual breakfast at the table, not in front of the TV, so I missed out on the local news and weather. Still, I delighted in the view of my spring garden as I slowly savored my meal.
Instead of hopping into the car to drive to the supermarket I strapped on my backpack and walked to the store with my dog Bella. Without use of the car, there were no Saturday errands. Instead, I enjoyed the leisure of reading the newspaper and slowly sipping freshly brewed coffee.
Lunch had to be made from scratch – no leftovers to nuke. So it was scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and more coffee. Unexpectedly, a friend popped in for a chat and a dog walk. I had my eye on the darkening sky and the smell that heralds rain, so we turned back, getting home just before the sky opened up.
The outdoor market I had visited in the morning provided the main ingredients for my evening meal. The house was filled with the delicious aroma of spices. I ate slowly, pausing between bites to read the book I was deeply into.
With a few variations, Sunday unfolded much as Saturday had. I felt I was living in the 50’s when everyday life was slower. My whole day was less frantic and busy. Instead of news about the world or the nation, I was immersed in the news of the neighbors and their dogs.
I cooked my meals from fresh ingredients. Without watching an expert weather report, I astonished myself by predicting a rainstorm. At my usual bedtime I fell asleep quickly and slept through the night – no bad dreams or anxiety about the day!
What I missed out on was the intensity of modern life which for me is too loud, too fast, too bright, too emotionally demanding of empathy for people and situations about which I can do nothing.
It was such a relief not to have to venture outside of my comfort zone for two days. Life moved at a slower pace, a human pace, that left me at peace. My fear of missing out had, with only a little unease, become the joy of missing out.
The true meaning of the word Sabbath is a day of delight and joy, free from labor.