The Sunday gone by was different from a normal Sunday for me. The previous night, based on nothing more than a sudden whim - no doubt partly resulting from the cribs of my better half -, I decided to abstain from browsing the Net either on my mobile or from the desktop at home. This, of course, was not a new idea entirely. A few weekends ago, I was at a small home-stay at a village near Alibaug, where there was no television in the room and the mobile network was, at best, decent in terms of speed. And I quite loved the idea not having a TV or a PC around me. I decided to further extend this idea to not accessing the benefits of television and the Internet even while at home. And I must say it was a very refreshing experience. It meant, of course, that I :
a. Did not switch on the TV the entire day
b. Did not switch on the PC the entire day (which I guess can count as a even bigger achievement in today's digital age)
c. Used the cellphone only for calls and SMSses (no chatting, no browsing on 3G)
As mentioned, I loved the idea so much that I am planning to make it a regular habit (say once a month) and I would heartily recommend it to everyone. The question that would arise is : How do I then spend my Sunday ? Well, some of the things that can be done is:
a. Go for a morning walk or jog. Even if you are one of those that likes to get that extra couple of hours of sleep on Sunday mornings, going out a little late is not a bad idea. I went out for a walk after 8 am with my wife and the weather was still pleasant outside.
b. Try your hand at cooking (as I wish to do someday) or help your spouse/parents in the kitchen (which I managed to do).
c. Do some cleaning around in the house, do not leave everything to the maid. Clean the dust off those old boxes in the attic once in a while. If you are more enterprising, you can even try washing your own clothes. There are few things more satisfiying than taking care of your own washing.
d. Meet up with friends and relatives for brunch
e. And last, but definitely not the least, catch up on a good book. This brings me to the main idea in this post, especially relevant for those, like me, who are parents to babies in the 0-2 years age group. You commonly hear parents bemoan the fact that their children spend more time watching Doreamon on TV and neglect their school homework. And with space around the building being occupied more by cars than children, playing outdoors has become a luxury. But to those parents, I would like to ask a simple question: How much time did you spend in front of the TV when your kid was younger ? How much time did you spend reading a book ? The answer might be plainly obvious. The fact is that kids are very good imitators. They pick up those habits and activities which they see people around the house doing. Today, as a father to a 15-month old daughter, the main thought tormenting me is : how do I ensure that I inculcate good habits in her ? The simple answer (which, like all simple things, is difficult to implement), to that is: I do what I want her to do. So, if I want her to pick up the habit of reading, it is important she sees me reading books and newspapers. Hence the focus on reading as much as possible when you are around the kid on a Sunday. Hopefully, the habit will rub off on them. I had neglected my reading the past few months but I hope to get back to it with a vengenance.
Thus, I would readily recommend saying NO to technology once in a while. I loved it immensely, I hope others try it out and I would be eager to learn about your experiences.
PS: This is not meant to preach anything. Just thought would share something that seems to be working well for me.