Tuesday, 12 January 2010

time out

I remember reading in a biography of Gandhi that he set aside one day of the week for silence. I believe the day was Monday, a traditionally dreaded day in western cultures. He would take meetings and people could talk to him; he just didn't speak. It wasn't passive aggressive; it was just his policy.

When I read this, I thought it was a good idea. I wanted to try it. I didn't get very far. But the idea came back to me last night when I realized that it's not speaking that I need to refrain from periodically, it's responding. With FB, twitter, myspace, email, voicemail, phones, and in-person contact, I've achieved a kind of exhaustion I'd never imagined. It's an exhaustion with putting out -- like I'm a communications slut.

I can't tell you how many times in a normal day I hear Macy Gray's voice in my head "just a moment to myself....a moment to myself..." -- if I were paying her residuals, she'd be in good shape.

So this thought:

Is it possible to set aside one day of the week, say the dreaded Monday, to just not respond?

Read emails, FB's, twitters, even listen to voicemails, but have no obligation of retaliation. Because it does feel like a battle sometimes, all this answering, all this responsiveness, this endless table tennis match on a constantly shifting table. Um - my head again - "it's a jungle sometimes makes me wonder how I keep from going under." And you know where that lyric leads.

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