Last week I took on an experiment to see if my creative life could be enhanced by omitting specific elements from my daily life. Please check out the original post for all the information. The following entries are from last week while The Experiment was in progress.
The First Day
To give you the full scope of the day, I should probably start with the night before. For most of the day I was fine, but that changed by evening. I had a bit of anxiety creep in. I started to think that I should binge on all the things I was about to give up. You know, give myself a send off. In the back of my mind I knew better.
As fate would have it, shortly after the kids were in bed and wife out for the night with her friends, I had the family room to myself. I watched the DVDs that needed to be returned during the week.I clocked in some game time on the Wii. I even streamed several shows on Netflix. To my credit, I withheld surfing the internet (I did enough of that throughout the day) or listen to my iPod or radio.
All in all that led to a little over three hours sleep to get me through my First Day.
Morning came whether or not I wanted it to. The first noticeable difference didn’t happen until the ride to work. I think this was the first time I’ve driven alone without the radio on. And you know what?
I kind of liked it.
Correction: My previous car had no radio to speak of. I drove that car for about three years. I could argue that the engine was loud enough to block out any coherent thought, but I’d be grasping at straws.
The weirdest thing though. I had AC/DC running through my head. Never a full song. Just a line from one and a few from another. I don’t know. It still sounded good to me.
The first of my mornings went fine. I’m usually plugged into my iPod up until lunch, but it didn’t bother me to be without. The real struggle came at lunch.
A typical lunch has me planted in front of my computer either streaming Netflix or Hulu. Since I’m stuck at my desk by myself for an hour, I don’t get much choice. Today I sat in front of a blank screen while I ate. After thirty minutes, I was finished eating with another thirty minutes to go. This is where my previous nights antics helped.
I found a quiet place in the building. Set an alarm on my cell phone, found a nice wad of bubble wrap for a pillow and took a refreshing power nap.
The last half of work was more tedious. Tediously boring. I had things to do, but by three o’clock the lack of sleep finally caught up with me. That’s when I started bargaining with myself.
I tried to convince myself that just checking online for the briefest of minutes couldn’t hurt. Besides, who would know? I would. That’s who. To be honest, I’m quite proud for not giving in.
The drive home was just as easy as the drive to work. I picked up my daughter from her mother’s and then explained why the stereo wasn’t on. She freaked out a little until she realized I wasn’t forcing the rest of the family in The Experiment.
I thought I was in the clear once I got home. The normal evening routines were fine. Food, kids to bed, and preparing for the next day never included any of my digital indulgences. So I was safe.
Then came time that my wife and I usually spend curled on the couch watching a show. I really look forward to that time. That’s when I tried to bargain with her.
Thankfully I had already told her about my plan, and like any good sponsor, she told me no.
I’ve never been one to do drugs. Nothing harder than a cigarette (which I quit cold turkey after nine years). But, today…
Today I felt like a junkie. I don’t think I like that.
In any case, it’s time for me to catch up on some of that sleep I skipped out on.
There you have it. I’ll continue to post daily my journey through what I deem “My Digital Detox” the rest of this week. I hope you’ll join me and share if you did it as well.