Lent was long. Very long. I know it was technically the same duration as every other Lent in my 31 years of life, but it felt…endless. The Lord even allowed Holy Week to be particularly, um, sacrificial? A mysterious outbreak of crazy hives [Ryan], an infection from nursing [me], and pink eye [Philomena] piled up on my soul, and I just couldn’t wait for Easter. I kept whining to Ryan, “I neeeeeeeed the resurrection!”
And Easter came. I made a fancy meal for Holy Saturday night. It gave me a stomach ache. On Easter afternoon the pink eye returned to our little babe, followed by days of high fever. To deal with my stress, I gorged on robin eggs and jelly beans. Shockingly, this too made me sick. And now Ryan’s allergies are in full-force, complete with sore throat and runny nose.
I am saying all this not just to complain and make you feel sorry for me [although that’s an added bonus], but to just say that even with the resurrection, as glorious and hope-giving as it is, we still live in a broken, fallen world. And I need Him. Much more than I did even 40 days ago. I suppose this is what Lent is about.
It was also about giving up something that I had no idea was so precious to me: my good friend, Miss Internet [no clue why I made it feminine]. I had planned on making a list throughout Lent of all that I had learned with my time away. But I didn’t.
Really, all I learned was this: I love the Internet. And I despise the Internet.
In all seriousness, the first couple weeks without Facebook/blogs/Instagram/recipe sites were very difficult. Not to diminish the struggles of true addicts, but I honestly felt like I was in withdrawal. I would start to type in web addressees out of instinct, but then have to stop myself. [It is pathetic when web surfing is unconscious.] My days seemed empty somehow. I also gave up radio, podcasts, and music which made them much more quiet too. I seriously didn’t know if I could do it. I feel silly saying that now, but it’s true.
But then, something began to happen. I slowly started to love not having the Internet. I realized that for a long time all of this reading and “connecting” had been almost a burden. Like, “oh I can’t forget to take pictures of this meal for the blog.” And, “I haven’t been on Instagram all day! There are so many abstract, grainy photos to see!”
Being off the grid also had the unexpected outcome of a few friends who went out of their way to email me and call me just to see how I was doing and catch me up on their lives. This little gesture made my heart swell.
And I had so.much.more.time. Naptime was ridiculously productive.
But, then Easter weekend came. And on the VERY first night of being back on the ‘ol world wide web, this literally happened: “Oh, Ryan, I know I was supposed to be cleaning up the dishes and the kitchen while you were getting Mena ready for bed, but well, I lost track of time catching up on Facebook.” No joke. I stood there in the kitchen for maybe 20 minutes blatantly ignoring the task in front of me, because I had to scroll through days of newsfeed in my semi-stalkerish manner.
When I opened up Google Reader [and, um, what’s up with THAT situation?! Ugh.] I felt overwhelmed, seriously overwhelmed, by all the “catching up” to do. Not just among my real-life friends [insert apology for not commenting on all your great thoughts while I was gone], but also all those people who I feel as if I know. It is like I “owed” it to them to read all they had written. It stressed me out. A lot.
And I longed for the freedom of Lent again.
Where does this leave me now? I’m not sure. There are days in which I vow never to blog again. And there are days like today in which these words were just itching to get out. And I have recipes to share. And meal plans to post. And a baby [toddler?] to gush about lovingly.
However, I also have beautiful weather that was made for playing at the park. And a messy house that needs to be cleaned. Oh yeah, and a couple months ago I was handed my dream professional opportunity of a lifetime that demands countless hours of my time every day…whilst being a full-time mother and teaching one day a week. [I’m not going to talk about the particulars of the job here on the blog, but if you want more details, feel free to email me.]
So, basically, I have no idea what’s going to happen from this point forward.