Day 2: Evening Without Screens

On this second day of the 7 Day Hygge Challenge, I spent an evening without screens. This does not refer to the fine mesh coverings over windows. This was an evening unplugged from screens as in the TV, the computer and my cell phone. The idea was to spend that disconnected time reading, playing a game, listening to music or anything, really, other than having my eyes on a screen.

Evening Without Screens

Tuesday – Spend an evening without screens. No TV, computer or cell phone.

For the purpose of my screen free night, I defined evening as 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. As it happened, I had some real estate business to take care of late in the day, requiring me to be on the computer until 5:40. And then knowing I would be posting this blog piece late, I used my remaining screen time to take pics of what I intended to do and create my title meme.

And that was when I felt the first minor pangs of being screen free. As a blogger, I am accustomed of documenting what I am doing, by way of photos. It felt strange to deliberately leave my phone in the other room as I retired to my bedroom with a couple of books to read and one of my writing journals.

Evening Without Screens

I admit, I felt a bit out of whack for the first hour. I’m not on the computer much in the evenings, and I don’t mind at all having TV free time. But my phone…that’s a different matter. I keep it near me. I check in on the blogs and on posts that have been pushed out onto social media. I stay connected to family through texts and Facebook. I thought about listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack as I read, and then realized it’s on my phone. I also considered watching a movie…The Shape of Water released today. But nope, that involved a TV or computer screen.

I eventually settled into a very good book, with a cup of hot herbal tea nearby. I am enjoying reading, for the first time, Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes. I love the film. It is one of my favorite movies. The book is transporting me back to sun drenched Tuscany and creating a desire to return to Italy.

Evening Without Screens

I also enjoyed working in It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. I wrote several pages for the Memoir Task, covering ages 5 – 10 years old, by answering a series of questions about that time in my life. It is amazing how the act of putting words on paper unlocks memories for me. As I wrote I could almost catch the scent of the fuzzy pink flowers that covered the mimosa trees in my neighborhood and hear the sounds of kids laughing as they roamed the neighborhood. I was often part of that pack. And just as often, I was off on a solitary adventure of my own.

I only left my room once to check the time, as I don’t keep a clock in there. I was about half way through the evening. It came to me that I felt compelled to stay in my room, almost like I was being punished. Go to your room. No TV or cell phone for you. I found that intriguing and worked through the thoughts and emotions around that.

Evening Without Screens

Ultimately I very much enjoyed my evening without screens. I think this activity would be a good one for me to practice weekly, or as often as I desire the freedom to pursue other things without the distraction of a screen in my face. The animated movie Wall-E came to mind more than once tonight, and what happened to the inhabitants of the spaceship as they lived with their eyes focused nonstop on their monitor screens. They forgot how to move about, how to think for themselves and how to interact with each other, face to face. That’s not a future I want.

As I finished a task in my workbook, this quote caught my eye.

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” Michel de Montaigne

In light of the evening, the words seemed so appropriate. It is good to spend time unplugged, and on my own, learning more about who I am and what I want to do with the time given to me. I do belong deeply to myself. I am grateful for the time tonight to explore those depths.

Evening Without Screens