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I worked really hard to make time to watch a movie tonight. Feels really weird to be watching movies again. We watched a couple episodes of her favorite show last night. Fun time, but again…felt weird.

I wonder…what is this thing that I’m doing to myself?

My first text after 40 some days was telling a friend I’d be praying for him. Not a bad way to get back into the texting world. But again…texting instead of calling and using my voice feels funny. Feels cheap.

One of the funny exchanges that came out of the no-texting project was this: I’d been in the semi-consistent habit of texting my wife every day, just to say hi. So familiar we were with texts that when I started calling her in the middle of the day, her immediate response was, “OMG, it’s an emergency!” Even after settling into a new habit of voice-calls, that same instinctive response was there.

That then, is the mark of our culture’s communication trends. Voice to voice communication is reserved for emergencies. For all other matters, please use non-invasive text messaging.

For me, there were just as many questions arising from the return to my old habits as the initial leaving of them.

I knew I was going to pick up the habits I dropped. Even knew I’d pick up up pretty promptly after the end of Lent. That was what made me wonder what was the point. Anytime I undergo a process like this, I come out with more questions than answers. This is puzzling, but I guess this is learning.

What did I learn? What changed? What progress was made?

I suppose the difference is in my perception. I see my actions differently. I know more of how they affect me. And the effects have changed. The same things that used to make me happy or soothe me or be a decent escape now feel cheap and empty. Texting feels dumb and inefficient. Movies feel like such a delightful waste of time. Or rather, that I am watching a movie indicates that I am wasting time instead of pursuing something or someone else that I really love.

I suppose the fact that I feel funny going back to my old habits says something. Now that I’ve experienced something different than my habits, I have a fresh perspective on what I was doing. In this case, texting, TV and movies. Actions I didn’t used to think about and would take for granted. But now I know how I feel when I don’t have these things. And I like that feeling!