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Hello, My Name is Sheila and I'm a Political Junkie
About a decade ago I went to bed quite depressed quite frequently. On those days my husband would come into the bedroom and try to get me to open up. That would just annoy me. Why couldn't he let me have my mood?

Then I started to realize that there was a pattern to these moods. They happened on Thursday nights. And on Thursday nights I watched ER. And that is a depressing show.

Around that time I read the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and realized that I needed to get rid of the "Quadrant 4" activities (for those of you who have read it. For those of you who haven't, maybe I'll post on that sometime. But basically it means time wasters that steal your soul). And television was way up there.

So we got rid of it. Cold turkey. And it was lovely. I started to write, without sacrificing anything else. All this time just opened up to me. Since then I've published four books, written dozens of articles, and become a syndicated columnist. And I speak a lot.

I've always been so proud of the fact that our family doesn't do television. It seemed like a badge of honour.

BUT, and here's a big BUT, over the last few years something has crept in to replace it. And that something is the internet.

I am completely addicted (and I think I use that term correctly in this case) to political news and political blogs. It's completely irrational. Even if I sit down at the computer "just to see what's going on", it's an hour and a half before I get back up. It gets in the way of everything!

Now maybe you think political blogs are pathetic. I know they are. But what is it for you? Is it television? Is it other kinds of web surfing? I think we all have our vices, even if they are different.

After my cruise this summer I came back to a lot of work that needed doing. Much of it was around the house, and I had two such productive days in which I felt like flying. So much was accomplished! It was great.

Then I sat down at the computer during a break the next day, and that was the end of that. No more major accomplishments. I still got done the bare minimum, but that was it.

And that's how I've felt the last few years. I get done the bare minimum. I do homeschool. I write. I keep the house in order. But I don't get done the things we keep putting off. And I could have written my first novel, which is already all planned out, just in the time that I've been reading political blogs in the last year.

So I need to quit. I can't just give myself "an hour" and that's it today, because the hour turns into three. It's really hard to do, but I'm going to try to go cold turkey. And I'm going to pray it through a lot! It is hard breaking a time wasting habit. You're probably laughing at me thinking this is really silly, but it is hard once you've started a routine. And because all my work is done at the computer, it's even harder to get away from. To sit at the computer and only work, and not browse the blogs, is a challenge. Whenever I feel writer's block, I just start browsing. A big mistake.

The problem, of course, is that I can't get rid of my internet connection the way I got rid of my television. I need the internet for my writing. So what I need to do is develop discipline. AAAAAHHHH! But I shall try. We'll see how I do for the next week! Baby steps, right?

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At 6:38 PM , Blogger Victoria said…

Aw Sheila, I feel for you I really do. I totally get the internet addiction. We too are a tv free family and we only buy or rent the occasional dvd. My problem is the internet as well. I can wake up early with great intentions of accomplishing great things BUT as soon as I turn on the internet, ostensibly to check my emails,I invariably find myself surfing knitting and homeschooling blogs/forums. Before I know it, a couple of hours have easily passed and I've lost those hours and will never get them back. I'm inspired by your post and am going to do my best to get up tomorrow and "accomplish great things", even if it's just planning some lessons or reading a story to my son :)

Thanks for your posts and articles. I absolutely love hearing from you.

God bless,

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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