Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Six Weeks in a Desert

Lent begins tomorrow and so I begin my annual Facebook Fast.

My second grade teacher at St. Joseph's parochial school, Sister Judith, told us that we were to give something up for Lent so we would understand the suffering of Christ as he was crucified.  (She was not known for her warm demeanor, but for the Vulcan death grip she applied to unruly children.)

Somehow I don't think not being able to see funny cat videos on Facebook or take a quiz to see which Disney princess I would be (Belle) quite equates to being having your hands and feet being nailed to a cross. But giving up Facebook is hard for me.  And I don't think a loving God, such as my man Jesus, really wants me to experience the same pain He did. (That and He sometimes laughs at my status updates about grumpy teenagers because he remembers how moody I was.)

The first year I gave up Facebook for Lent it was mostly to prove I could.  I guess my friends and family felt I shared a little too much in my timeline posts and  didn't believe I'd last the 40 days.  Well, I fasted in that internet desert of no status updates and rose again as a blogger.

Last year I didn't Facebook fast--I thought I'd try a six week program of exercise and healthy eating instead.  That lasted about a week and a half.

The year before that, however, proved enlightening.  I had been Facebook-less for about four weeks and had convinced myself I'd never do it again.  What was I getting out of it, anyway, besides being cat-video-free?  In a bout of boredom I started perusing Pinterest (another internet time-suck).  There I snooped through my teen daughter's boards (which in Pinterest-ese is a grouping of like things, or "pins") titled "bucket list." On that board was a pin about meeting her favorite author.  Hmm, that was kind of interesting.  I found the website for the current author of choice and saw she was doing a tour to promote her newest title.  AND she would be a bookstore in Seattle in a few weeks time. So I took my daughter and friend to see the author she loved and became, for one short moment, not the worst mother ever.  All because I'd given up Facebook.

It may not have been what Sister Judith had in mind, but it was pretty darn cool.

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