The 7 Experiment: Month Four (Almost) Complete - Elisabeth Klein
7 is stupid.  Okay, I don’t even really feel that this month (which totally surprises me, by the way, because I was dreading this more than the food month), but it’s sort of become my mantra, so there you go.  This month we have given up media.  Here are my seven “sacrifices” (and please use huge air quotes around the word sacrifice while saying it with dripping sarcasm): 

Magazines. I know, right? Totally lame. 

Facebook. Well, except a couple times a day when I check my messages to make sure I wasn’t missing anything “super important”; and my writers’ group retreat page for key information like whether we wanted pop or wine at our dinner out; and you know, to wish my daughter a happy 15-&-1/2th birthday because you’re only 15-&-1/2 once.  

Purposeless internet surfing. In other words, I’m not checking Twitter and E!online eighteen times a day. This means I don’t know what Khloe Kardashian Odom is wearing to Target. I need this information, people. 

Television during the day. Except when I watched The Office, Grey’s, and Private Practice the next day on my computer, which I didn’t even realize was technically “watching TV during the day” until after I’d done it. Whatever, I’m not a rocket scientist. 

Secular music.  This one is funny to me.  This reminds me of the time my college roommate (what up, Tam?!) got up in the middle of the night and felt convicted to throw away all her Heart cassette tapes.  (Love her.)  If I had to guess, I would say about forty percent of the music on my iPod is secular music.  So, I just listen to Christian music.  And I debate with each song if it has to be Christian in content or written/sung by someone who claimed to be a Christian.  I’m not hard and fast on this one…it always depends on the song (for instance, “Black Eye” does not have Christian content but was written/sung by Derek Webb, someone who follows Jesus.  I listened to it because I like pretending I’m the main character in that song.).  So, this month, I’m not  rolling in the deep or hating myself for loving you or wondering where all the cowboys have gone or all out of love (shut up); instead I am mostly marching to Zion and singing my praise to the Lord and adding to the beauty. (You’re so jealous of my fierce music collection right now, it’s not even funny.) 

Checking email from my phone. Epic fail on this one. But really, why do I do this? Do I really need to know in the middle of the night, when I’ve hypothetically gotten up for a handful of jelly bellies, that the meeting I’ve been dreading has been confirmed, so I can then keep myself awake for another hour stewing about it? And do I really need to know as I’m waiting at the dentist office that another agent has passed on representing me for my next project? I don’t think so. But, knowing me, I’ll probably keep doing it once this month is over. 

Two of my best friends who are doing 7 planned to give up texting. I say planned because they bailed pretty early in the game (I may or may not have taunted them with alluring texts too good not to respond to).  I’m not naming names.  However, I went into the thing knowing I wasn’t going to give up texting because, not to be all weird or anything, but all my girlfriends put together are my life partner (I don’t mean it that way).  I know myself well enough, as an introvert who tends to isolate, that I need that throughout-the-day connection, even if it’s simply to brag that I just ate a big salad (and by big salad, I mean thirteen cookies).  

And that is it. If you’re a good count-er, you may have noticed that is only six. I really do think I’m doing seven things, but I’m too lazy to walk upstairs to look at my list. (Apparently fasting from media has not given me more energy.) 

So, here’s what I’ve been learning this month, and it’s not brain surgery.  Turns out, when I don’t waste time online or watch TV during the day (and I mean even for fifteen minutes while eating lunch), I have more time and got more done.  And when I say “got more done”, it basically comes down to me writing more this past month, which is pretty cool.  Coincidence?  Well, probably; but I’m going to chalk it up to 7 so that I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time doing this. Also, it’s not like I had Twitter removed from my computer or the cable company come and take my TV away (I don’t think they even do that). I’m just, you know, not doing those things. Which means I apparently have some self-discipline. It will be interesting to see if I make better choices once this month is up. I hope so, but I’m also not holding my breath because deep down I’m pretty much a toddler who always wants what I want when I want it. So, that’s about it. 

Next month: waste. No, it’s not what you think…waste seven more things next month than you usually do. That’s what I thought too. Totally bummed. I’m really not looking forward to next month because, frankly, I’m going to have to think more than I usually do, and that’s just a pain. 

Until next month, happy 7-ing! 

P.S. Just walked upstairs and came back down…apparently, I gave Twitter its own special category. I’m so silly.