We’re six days into the Real Community challenge. How are you doing? As a quick recap, the Real Community Challenge rules are:
- Limit the social media sites that suck away time and energy.
- Practice new, more constructive habits.
- Do not allow media, TV or phones at the table.
- Take a new step towards real community each week.
These first few days have been interesting. I have done pretty well with what I set out to do. I ate meals at the table with the kids, and we went for walks for all but three of the mornings. One day was too rainy to go walking and the next day was too muddy. This morning we didn’t walk because the maid came. For some reason she usually comes on Mondays. (We have no maid. I am the maid. But I was motivated to clean, so I didn’t want to interrupt the flow).
I’ve been able to somehow (miraculously!) get more done, now that I’m not checking Facebook. I caught up on my emails. I wrote a letter to a friend and mailed it. I got more things unpacked. I had dinner ready most of the nights by the time Rick was home. I did an art project with the kids.
However, it has been tough for me. I was really tempted to cheat and look at Facebook (through Rick’s account!) last night. But I stayed strong and didn’t do it. Rick is out of town, and the kids were in bed. The house was quiet, I was caught up on emails, with nothing to do.
Instead, I decided to talk to a friend. She texted me and then I asked her to call if she had time. It was just enough distraction that the urge soon passed.
Over all, I’m enjoying it so far. I am enjoying not wasting so much time and getting more done. But I do feel still a bit disconnected. SO here comes my next step to build real community.
This week I will meet someone new. I encourage you to do this too.
Saturday I took the kids to the playground across the street from our house. The playground is going to be renovated soon, and I accidentally showed up when a meeting about it was supposed to take place. This might come as a surprise, but I’m not an overly social person. I tend to avoid large crowds of people and it is my nature to go to the park when there is no one else there.
But I was there and suddenly lots of people were there. I decided to pipe up and say that I hoped there would be benches in the shade for parents to watch their kids play. As you can imagine, there were other moms there too. I met two of them. Coincidentally, one of the women was a friend of a reader of this blog who has just moved from Texas to Colorado… small world huh?
Meeting people is hard for me. I tend to just spill my guts and show all my crazy within the first ten minutes of meeting someone. I mean, I told both of these women that I was a blogger, that I moved from Colorado, I was a weird hippie and that I lived without a fridge for a year and a half. Yeah. They were both kind though, and they both emailed me within the day. And I plan (hope) to get together with them.
So yay! I met someone new! Two someones! But it was on Saturday, not this week. Because I’m not asking you to do anything I’m not going to do, I’m still going to make sure I meet someone else this week too.
Why is meeting someone new important to real community? Well, for me, the reasons are obvious, since I’m new in town. But even if you have lived in your city your whole life, it’s important. Others may have resources you never knew about. For example, both of the women I met at the park invited me to be a part of various communities in the area (a real food yahoo group that does group buys, a home school group, a mom’s group, and resources for buying raw milk and fresh eggs). Jackpot!
When I lived in Colorado, I was constantly finding new resources through new friends, even though I had lived there my whole life. We need people to have community, and the more of them you know in real life, the stronger that community will be.
So that is the mini-challenge within the Real Community Challenge. Meet someone new.
My goal now looks like this:
I will be blocking Facebook and limiting Pinterest. Instead of checking them I will go for a walk in the mornings. Media, TV and phones are not allowed at the table and will be shut off or silenced during meals. I will continue eating meals at the table with my family. And this week, I will meet someone new.
A side note here… many people have expressed to me in private that they love the idea of this challenge and that they will be joining in one form or another. Some of them don’t want to announce it. That’s ok. It’s also ok if you don’t want to get off of Facebook (or what have you) completely, but just want to manage the amount of time you spend on it better. The point of this challenge is not to completely cut yourself off from social media (unless that’s what you want), but rather focus on REAL community, face-to-face relationships. So go with what works for you.
Tell me friends, how were the first few days? And if you haven’t joined in yet, are you considering it?