I think the reason I’m always critical of my time when writing posts for this site, is because the time I spend writing blog posts, is time not spent with my family. I may be in the same house as them, at times even in the same room, but during those moments when I'm writing, I’m not really with them.
You might be wondering, where is this coming from? It’s coming from the realization that my kids are growing up so fast. My eldest son for instance, is going to start school this year.
I fear that I'm losing my time with them. That window where they think it’s still cool to play with dad, I feel like that window of time is shrinking every day.
Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, I don’t want to regret not spending enough time with my kids. And let’s be honest, time spent with your kids is never going to be enough. They will grow up and eventually leave to have their own families. You can't hang on to them forever.
This is a list of rules that I'm going to follow for the remainder of Lent. In hindsight I should have started this as soon as Lent started, but oh well. Better late than never.
These rules are based off v2.0. There's not much modifications from the previous rules I had. The biggest change in this set of rules, is that I'm not allowing myself to do any blogging whatsoever. I already feel anxious and excited about that one. It will be a good challenge.
And so without further ado, my Lent digital declutter starts now. You can find the rules below. See y'all online on Easter Sunday.
We were notified last week that we could now get the Covid-19 vaccine. Good timing too, since our state governor decided to reopen Texas 100% and took away the mask mandate.
After two days...
We got our 1st dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. I thought it was going to be a drive-through setup, but it was not. And so we had to bring Davin and Caleb along with us, as we fell in line with other people. Had I known it wasn't a drive-through, we would have left Davin and Caleb at the babysitter.
Thankfully, once we got into the vaccination center, we found it to be a very organized event.
The highlight of last week was a birthday celebration for our little guy. Shout out to the wife for the wonderful decorations and theme. She really outdid herself this time around.
This cake not only looks good, but also taste good. What the Harry Potter design hides, is a delicious Ube flavored cake. Yum yum!
One thing that I thought was a great idea, is to take pictures of your kids as they hit some milestones. Then you can use those pictures as decorations for the birthday party, or just add it to a family photo album. It's a nice way to look back and see how much your child has grown.
After watching the horrible ending on the k-drama Iris, I kinda lost my appetite for watching TV shows. However, I still wanted to watch... something. So, last week I decided to watch some anime instead. I'm watching Kuroko's Basketball on Netflix and I'm enjoying it so far.
Last week I intentionally decreased the amount of stuff I've been reading. This is to give my brain a chance to digest what I've just read.
I've also taken to adding articles/posts that I want to read, into my Are.na Bookmarks/Reading List bucket. This seems to help decrease the unease that I feel, from not being able to immediately read interesting articles/posts. Since I know that I will eventually get to them someday in the future, it allows my brain to relax and focus on the current task at hand.
Since I have been trying to read less, a problem that I'm running into is what to do with my free time when I can't read. I would prefer to work on my digital garden, but I cannot do so when I'm not at home. This is because my notes in Obsidian, while synced to a Github repo, are not easy to work with via my phone. So, I now have a lot more time to think through things because I'm trying to read less, but during those times I can't work on my digital garden. That's one big limitation with my Obsidian setup.
That said, maybe I should look at it as a benefit in some way. I shouldn't be using my phone that much anyway.
There it is again. That feeling of dread. Or anxiety. That feeling of a burn out that doesn’t want to go away. Like there’s a hole in my chest that I can’t fill. I can’t quite describe it. It comes when I’m not distracted. When I’m alone with my thoughts. And it lingers unless I push it out of my mind with prayer.
I was fine during my digital declutter. But as soon as it ended, it came back slowly. Whenever I think about what to write next, I get overwhelmed. And I can’t explain it. I’m making my online activities a scapegoat here, but I have no other explanation for it. The only thing that significantly changed for me this week, was me coming off my digital declutter.
And so I’m going into digital declutter mode indefinitely. I’ll probably keep posting entries to this journal. But I’m going dark on the rest of my blogs and websites. I don’t know when this new digital declutter will end. Maybe it will become my new normal. Maybe not. Either way, I once again need a break from all the stuff I do online.
I know I said I'm going dark on the rest of my blogs. But I might make an exception for my music blog.
Before we get to the new set of rules, here are some notes on the additions and changes I've made for this new version.
I'm allowing the use of Facebook Messenger
This is the main app that my friends and I use to communicate with each other. I don't see a need to cut myself off from my friends this time around.
I'm allowing the use of Safari and Feedly
One of my goals in this second digital declutter is to catch up on my readings of articles and blog posts. I have so many open tabs of articles and posts I want to read in Safari right now, it is not even funny. So, I'm allowing the use of Safari this time around to help me get through all those tabs. That also means catching up on my unread items in Feedly.
Not allowing Micro.blog and Sunlit apps
I signed up for a Micro.blog account just last month. Great service. I love what they are doing for blogging and personal websites. I use the official Micro.blog app and the accompanying Sunlit app on my phone. However, I will not be using those apps during this digital declutter to see what effect they have on me.
Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience.
I am so grateful that I discovered the IndieWeb. Owning my content and posting my thoughts on my own site instead of a silo like Twitter gives me real freedom. I can decide how my thoughts are displayed (I like to make them available to everyone without advertising), I can edit them and they stay available for as long as I want.
This experiment is all about trying to reduce my smartphone usage at home with the use of an Apple Watch. Yes, I know it sounds ironic — trying to reduce usage of one gadget, with the use of another gadget. But let me try to explain where I'm coming from.
One of the best things about working from home, is being able to eat with my kids at the dinner table. When I'm working from home though, I'm always worried about time that I spend away from my desk. What if my boss wants me to join a call? What if I was supposed to join a meeting? This is why I've resorted to carrying my phone around whenever I'm eating with my kids, or helping Coney out with Baby Caleb.
Carrying my phone around the house has renewed my itch to use it. Like when I'm at the dinner table, or by the bathroom door while potty training Davin, or when I'm carrying Baby Caleb around to give Coney a breather. It's all too easy to just pull it out and fire up the Feedly, Micro.blog or DuckDuckGo app. As you can see, it is not ideal to have my phone with me around the house. Also, how I am supposed to tell Davin to not bring his iPad to the dinner table, when I'm always bringing my phone around for lunch?
I encourage you to be conscious of the fact that the electronic/digital world is not really a natural world. It might be becoming our new norm, especially in the current pandemic. But we should always make a point to step away from these unnatural options.
Instead, take a hike, view the night sky, listen to live music, breathe the fresh air.
This was a good read. And to his point, I never even thought about that. How much time do we spend at night browsing or living on the internet? I'm guilty of this too, what with the multiple blogs and websites that I try to keep up with at night. The time we spend at nights living on the internet, means time spent not living in the natural world. Something to think about that.