While there seems to be some lurking, Facebook sharing, and post observing, I haven’t seen any comments or emails relating any of y’alls stories about this last weekend’s Amish living. So I am going to assume this is one of those cases where everyone is just waiting for someone to jump in the pool first to test the water — so here goes.

 In the Slower Pace CHALLENGE post, I said I was going to lead by example and go for giving up all three:

  • Television
  • Computer
  • Mobile devices

Well, I can assure you it was not easy but I was successful. I was very surprised how instinctual it was for me to grab my phone first thing when I woke up. Thankfully, I turned off the alarm and remembered my intentions, and then put it down and proceeded to get up out of bed. No reason to scroll through email accounts seeing what came in overnight. No reason to mosey through Facebook posts to see what has transpired in the last 8 hours. No reason to check the weather — all I gotta do is just look outside. Again, it still surprised me how that morning “catch up” habit was so, well…..habitual. On the plus side, I automatically gained 10-20 minutes just by not doing anything with my phone other than turn off the alarm.

While I did not have work to go to, my son and I did have plans to head out on the canoe. Unfortunately, the cloudy, drizzly weather was not conducive to an enjoyable canoe paddle so instead he and I headed in to town for the gun show. And because I did not have any TV, computer, or mobile activity to distract me, I was able to get in my cardio workout, make the bed, and clean our master bedroom all before he even woke up. This also completely threw my wife for a loop because I never make the bed. I attribute my very productive morning to the lack of distractions.

While at the show, my son and I enjoyed time together without the distraction of social media. The only time we used our phones was to text each other our location one time when we separated. My battery was also still above 90% — another unforeseen benefit.

The remainder of Saturday allowed time for a nap, a Chick-Fil-A dinner with friends, and a worship service. Granted, the dinner and worship would still have occurred had I not been Amish and electronics-less, but it was very nice none-the-less.

Sunday, like Saturday, started off with the phone alarm going off. I still had to fight the morning “catch up” habit, but it was much easier to get going. Church was the normal electronics desert, as it should be — no change there. And the rest of Sunday included some grocery shopping, tinkering in the garage, and hanging around as a family.

All in all, for me, the Slower Pace CHALLENGE was a success. Some takeaways:

  • The mobile phone and iPad tendencies were probably the hardest habits to break. When any of us have down time (waiting in line, waiting for someone, generally waiting), the first reaction is to grab for the phone to fill up the dead space.
  • There were a few times during the weekend when I wanted to look something up or access a piece of information. That part of electronics is beneficial. But will that 2 minute Google search turn into a 20 minute Facebook foray? Kinda like the $20 trip to Costco for TP and milk turns into $150.
  • I observed that I felt I had more time available — for my family, to get things done, or just to relax. It would be interesting to run this experiment during a weekday.
  • Coming back to it all — TV, computers, mobile — #1) it didn’t take me long to catch up and #2) I didn’t miss that much. That being said, I might just incorporate some of these findings into my every day life.

So there you go, folks. It’s not too late to comment on your experience.

Or, if you missed out last weekend, run your own A Slower Pace CHALLENGE and see how it changes you. And then drop me a note here.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net