The Spirit Is Willing, But the Flesh Is Weak

Unlike my Mother whose backbone was made of Bethlehem steel, my backbone is pliable and easily bent. In the past I have always fell short of my intentions.


2015 12 07 wc 014

If the deer can take their ease in my back yard, why am I always on-the-go?


Those who read my last blog, know that Mark and I are trying to “tune out” and step away from the TV, computer, radio and phone one day a week. To that end, inspired by Oliver Sacks’ essay, “Sabbath,” we decided that Saturdays would be a Tech-Free Day. Wanting to recalibrate our lifestyle, we also pledged to give up driving and cooking. (You can read “Sabbath” at…/opinion/Sunday/Oliver-Sacks-Sabbath.html.

2014 12 29 wr 015

Dusk or Mid-day? Your call.


We began our quest Friday evening January 1st. As Friday night approached, my husband and I had our first disagreement. We knew that Sabbath began at sundown, but we disagreed on just when sundown occurred. Mark believed that sundown occurred when the sun disappeared over the mountains; I felt that sundown happened sometime past dusk.


And right away we saw the larger problem. Typically, we would have gone to the computer/smart phone and settled the argument with cold hard facts. But using the computer was not an option. The repercussions of our attempting to live a Tech-Free Sabbath were coming home.

January second was our first Tech Free Day, and it started out badly. Scott Simon was hosting NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” and we had chosen to give up listening to the radio. For me, not listening to Scott Simon on Saturdays was like slamming the door in the face of a trusted friend. I was beginning to waffle. Maybe if I just listened to Weekend Edition for one hour… for just one pot of coffee.

As I got all loosey goosey on the issue of the radio, as I started sliding down the slippery slope of equivocation,  Mark brought me to heel with the accusation that I was “whining and sniveling.” According to my husband, I had no backbone; I was dwelling on what I was missing instead of anticipating new opportunities. OK. I got it. I signed heavily, but I took his point.

2016 01 03 wc 006

Early morning light hits the closet door. Is it dawn?


Our first Sabbath was difficult. I missed using the computer, not so much for writing or checking my email, but for answering questions. I never realized that my portable encyclopedia was so handy or that I used it so frequently. On the plus side, We walked park-to-park; I had more time for reading; and I practiced the piano for the first time in years. All in all, our change of pace was quite enjoyable.

Our second TFD was easier. We read more, walked more, wrote in longhand, and visited friends and neighbors on foot. A tech-free-day takes some getting used to, but this second Sabbath I was better about letting go of what I was missing.

Not that I can be considered “Polly Pure.” Saturday did not work for us this week, so we began our “Sabbath” Thursday evening and concluded on Friday. We have fallen too far from Shabbat to use the word “Sabbath.” As I struggle to wiggle-room the rules, I guess I’ll just refer to our experiment with observing a Tech-Free Day.

If you haven’t discovered The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD at your local theatre, I highly recommend your checking it out.  next Saturday, January 16th won’t work for us either. So once again, we will begin our TFD on Thursday at sundown and conclude on Friday. Think about meeting us at Tinseltown in Pueblo at 12:55. This coming we’ll see “The Pearl Fishers” by Gorges Bizet. I don’t know the opera, but I know Bizet and I know the acting, costumes, staging, and music from the Met.

2016 01 11 wc 003Dozens of cameras play across the stage and orchestra pit – here the entire ensemble… there a heaving bosom. Aside from the production itself, the cameras take you back stage to meet the performers – sometimes in costume – other times filmed earlier at home in their sweat clothes. You have the best seats in the house, and you don’t have to pay $130. to sit in the orchestra. To catch a preview go to

With every passing day, the light lingers longer. Oh Happy Day!

If anyone is also observing a Sabbath or Tech-free Day, I would love to hear from you.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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6 Responses to The Spirit Is Willing, But the Flesh Is Weak

  1. Bar Scott says:

    Bravo!! good one, Doris. I think you and Mark are doing a great thing. How’s he feeling today??

    And thank you for the comments on my piece. I love comments generally, but even better when the piece is well received. So glad! I just can’t tell most of the time what’s working and what’s not.

    Writing next week?

    Opera sounds good but I can’t do it this time. Next time??? I’ve been with Brent’s mom and loved it.

    adios amiga. Bar


    • timeout2 says:

      Thank you for reading, Bar. Yes, let’s do some writing via phone conference this week. And thank you and Brent for your healing visit, the coffee and that all important chocolate. xo

  2. Sabbath is wonderful. Bravo for doing this. We, as observant Jews do it each week. Try and incorporate a mindfulness practice as well. This is exponentially increase the wellness benefits.

    • timeout2 says:

      Thank you, Levi. Yes, mindfulness. Meditation and focus do not come naturally to me, and I know that I need to work on that aspect of my life. Some years ago, I started taking more photos, and the best part of taking the pictures wasn’t the picture itself, but the focus necessary to really see. Best wishes, Doris

  3. Maria Weber says:

    Good morning from Ecuador! As you can tell I’m sitting in a chair with an iPod touch in my hand greedily scarfing up news from home. BUT my cousin and I returned from a mini retreat an hour out of Cuenca where the Wifi was not working. Nor could the manager get the DVD player to work–squashing our plan to watch at least 2 movies in the evenings. We survived by imbibing the natural beauty of this tropical paradise. Also my cousin found the absence of wifi emminations much healthier. I think she is right. Maria

    Sent from my iPod

    • timeout2 says:

      We missed you at Shavano’s January gathering. That said, Ecuador is a wonderful excuse to leave Chaffee County. I loved Ecuador and look forward to hearing about your trip.

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