Today is Fat Tuesday…biggest party day of Mardi-Gras, a sort of last hurrah before the more subdued season of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Lent, a basic quick explanation is a Christian tradition of symbolic sacrifice, lasting 40 days until Easter. The idea is that you take something you really like and you choose to forgo it, and whenever you normally would do/eat/want that specific thing, you turn to God instead and increase your reliance on Him. For example, if I gave up chocolate, every time I would reach for that treat, I would remember God and instead, spend a moment with Him, hopefully drawing myself closer to Him in the process. If you’re not big on giving things up, you could also add a discipline, i.e. 10 minutes of Bible Study a day or something.
In the past, I’ve given up many things…candy, soda, even television –which I did for many years. The upside of turning off the tube? I recovered my time to get things done and spend focusing on my life and spirituality. I caught up on things and was really able to slow down and make peace with my life. The downside? I missed the Oscars every darned year…they always fall during Lent!!!
After much internal debate, I decided that this year for Lent, I will be giving up all unnecessary internet usage. Yikes! I know…sounds scary, right? I may be crazy, and I may never do this again, but this year it just feels like the right thing to do. This includes my blog, and the blogs that I so love to read (as well as Facebook and Twitter and all of the news and gossip sites I spend so much time visiting).
I hate that I will miss all of you, and I’m half afraid I will emerge from this Lenten Season completely behind the times, disconnected and totally uniformed, as I get the majority of my news and much of my enjoyment from the web. On the other hand, surfing all of the great sites I’ve discovered has become a terrible time suck which has been encroaching on my ability to reach my goals and the time I devote to my personal priorities.
In all honesty, giving up the internet this year has selfish implications as well as spiritual ones. Yes, I hope to recover time to devote to my relationship with God. I am certain the extra time spent focusing on my family will reap happy rewards as well. But I will also be selfishly taking a lump of the time I save to write.
With an RWA contest final, I got a request from an editor that I’m very excited about. I also have an appointment with an editor from a different house in April, and therefore I must have the book I’m working on complete and polished by then so I can pitch it with confidence. Since I’ve started spending time blogging and reading blogs and tweeting and facebooking, my writing has dropped off. I have limited time and energy as my son approaches two and demands more from me. I have to spend what I have left writing.
So, I must put Heather’s Historical Hodgepodge officially on Hiatus. I hope all of you that have such wonderful blogs will forgive me for not coming by to see you for a while. I hope those of you who read my blog will keep me on your dashboard/Google reader and will give me a chance when I come back after Easter. And I wish you all a pleasant and fruitful end of the winter season, and hope to see you again in the spring.