One Week Later…

Posted by on Nov 9, 2010 in All, MFW, Work

Another Media Free Week (MFW) has come and gone. This past week was especially beneficial for me, as my husband and I have been working most evenings and weekends on refinishing our kitchen floor. This has taken far longer than we expected, and been a lot more stressful than we imagined. We should have known of course, if we remembered The Great Basement Emptying of 2009, The Incredible Dining Room Painting of 2006, or going waaay back to The Great Kitchen Patch, Paint, and Rehab of 2002. But as like most humans, we can’t remember pain, we jumped in again, 4 weeks ago.

By the time MFW rolled around, we were in a routine of waking up tired, and dragging through the days. We still had a ton to do this week, in fact my parents were coming to visit, so we had to get the whole house ready for them. But having the little extra space in my brain, the quiet times during the day that would have usually been filled with NPR or my own efforts at social networking, gave me back some energy and peace.

Voting Away!

One of my sketches from Election Day.

MFW is about taking a break from media consumption (and production as much as is possible), and getting our physical lives back on track. This means seeing people we love, moving our bodies, taking care of our surroundings and community, and being still. We avoid things I call “redirectors” – information that physically, emotionally, or cognitively changes your path, like getting angry after reading someone’s mean comment on a news article. We also take a break from media “time sucks” – the things that so engross you that you lose track of time and place, like video games, and even texting (we’ve all seen someone text their way across a street, almost getting hit in the process).

This MFW, we really kept to our goals. I had a breakdown mid-week, where I watched a couple of videos online, and read my friend’s blog once. I am not perfect, nor do I want others to think I am. There have been better weeks, and worse weeks, but all in all, I think I did quite well.

Some of the things I set out to do, and accomplished this Media Free Week:

  1. Vote, without a single campaign ad telling me what to do
  2. Write 750 words every day. (though this is online, I see it as a tool for writing, not a media source).
  3. Re-arrange my desk so that I am sitting directly in front of the screen and not facing the sunlight.
  4. Finish the floors – they are now shiny wood, not peeling layers of vinyl tiles.
  5. Practice Yoga 5 out of 7 days.
  6. Draw in my sketchbook 5 out of 7 days.
  7. Spend a lot of quality time with my family, staying relaxed and in the moment.
  8. Connect with several friends both in person and on the phone.

Things I learned or remembered:

  • Daily writing and drawing practice is possible, though 5/7 days seems more attainable
  • Seeing friends is rejuvenating
  • Silence is soothing
  • There are times when just being there is good enough

I am now happliy back in the land of media, where I can communicate with all of you, tweet and blog, and read up on what’s happened in the last week. I did hear we have the same governor, but look forward to learning if there are any big changes afoot. I am also planning to watch some videos later tonight, after we begin stage 4 of the Kitchen Escapade 2010 – painting the walls.

How about you? Did you take a media fast? If so, what happened?


  1. Sara
    November 10, 2010

    Gin I love this idea! great post, really inspiring. I have been thinking a lot lately about the things that you are calling ‘redirectors’ but I didn’t have a term for them until now. Today was a good example of allowing myself to be knocked off track by a couple of things I saw on Twitter. Reading this has reminded me of my initial intentioins – thank you!

  2. Gin
    November 10, 2010

    That’s exactly it, Sara! I am so easily distracted as it is, and the Internet makes every whim of an idea so attainable. I do my best to be mindful, but the monthly fast is what really keeps it in check. Thanks for your comment!