Last year I read a book, Crunchy Cons, by Rod Dreher. The cover blurb says it’s about “Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives.” I saw myself somewhere in all that. And between that book and a couple of other things, I decided to try an experiment.
I decided to live as if I didn’t have electricity, but only at night. I didn’t watch TV (except for 3 favorite shows that were usually off by sundown) or get on the computer and I tried to have all the laundry done before the sun went down. That was the most I could do though because if I turned everything off at sundown my family would have let me live outside in a tent. I confirmed that theory by asking and they all said, “Yeah.” Especially if I turned off the a/c. Sometimes I think I might not mind a tent really.
The effects were kind of interesting. Without TV or computer I didn’t have the bright lights hitting my brain and confusing it as to what time it was. My head began to get into a more natural wake-sleep rhythm with the sun. I had more time for conversation and reading and that was cool. And something else. I decided not to read any news magazines or newspapers after sundown. The whole thing was amazing! I couldn’t believe how peaceful it was.
The experiment ended because life got in the way. You know, those things that we don’t really control, we just have to go with. But things have changed and most evenings are more calm now. I think I’ll do it again.