Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to, or watching during my Sabbath.
This past week, I was reminded by a video on Headspace by Casper ter Kuile, author of The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices, about taking a tech sabbath that I haven’t done My Own Personal Sabbath in a while. Actually, according to the blog, the last time I did it, according to the blog posts, was October 3 of last year. I meditated with Eve from the meditation app Headspace, I listened to chill music in The Chill Out Tent, and I read Monday the Rabbi Took Off by Harry Kemelman as I continued the Rabbi Small mystery series.
Since then, I’ve given up on the Rabbi Small series, I listened to a little of The Chill Out Tent to start the year, and am still using Headspace (obviously, see above) along with The Shine app, both of which I recommend. Tomorrow, I think I’ll read a little of The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell, which I selected as my first book of the year. I also have been reading Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross, which I might continue if I can quiet and harness the voice in my head.
New this year, helping me are my wife and an app called Stay Focused, which I had her set a password so I can’t unlock Chrome or Samsung Internet to read news during the day, or scroll Instagram. To be honest, with Instagram, it’s the Stories that distract me and sometimes lead to a doomscroll. It’s not that I disagree with those I follow; it’s just that I don’t want to hear about the world burning down all around us every day. Instead, what can I do maybe on this one day of (mostly) digital rest is to build up myself to face my daily struggles, let alone the world burning down all around us every day.
I say “mostly” because I still listen to music and podcasts (no news podcasts EVER) on Spotify on news, only fictional worlds. I also have decided I will check on blogs that I read regularly, but on my laptop, where I am writing this post. I just don’t use the laptop for news or Instagram or anything else, other than the blog and Zoom with friends and my therapist.
So, that’s what I have planned for tomorrow for My Own Personal Sabbath. What do you have planned for tomorrow? Reading, watching TV, listening to music, spending time with family? Let me know in the comments, and, as always, please do not include links or if you do, just know that I will remove them.
Addendum: I was just reminded by my wife that tomorrow morning we are supposed to be getting freezing rain so a good day to be inside relaxing…and if the power does go off, so be it. I’ll still be able to read on my Kindle and listen to downloaded music on my phone.