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Jonathan Matlock

14 of 44 Days With No Artificial Light

Today is day 14 of 44 days with no artificial light. It has been a most interesting 14 days with many adjustments to life's patterns. A reminder, I am going 44 days with no artificial light in my home. No lightbulbs and no screens after 7:30pm, only the use of the sun and candles.

The experience so far has been great. I feel more rested and I have had much more down time to just sit and think without the everyday distractions. I don't think I realized how much more than just artificial light I would be giving up. Not getting on Twitter or Facebook in the evenings or reading news stories online has been a big adjustment. I didn't realize how much I did this with my time. I have also given up watching movies on Netflix with my iPad as I don't have much time after work before the sun goes down.

I have been doing a lot of reading at night by candlelight, which is kind of fun. I feel like the kid reading in The Never Ending Story by candlelight. I finished reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Killing Lincoln and now I am starting Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I may have to start visiting the public library.

This project has required me to be much more intentional about my time and the things I do during the day. I have to get my work finished early enough so I have enough time to cook dinner and clean before the sun goes down. In the mornings I take care of personal things that I have to get done on the computer, like paying bills. I also have to make sure I reset my surroundings each day before it gets dark. The candles and the lighter need to be where I can easily find them. I also have to get showered and ready by a certain time so I get the maximum amount of sun light reaching into the bathroom. I also haven't seen myself in the mirror very clearly for 14 days now. Maybe I'll give up mirrors for 30 days sometime.

I'm still adjusting to the new sleep cycle. Not sure where that is going to land. I've gone from falling asleep early and waking up early, to staying up later, waking in the middle of the night, reading for an hour or two, going back to bed and waking with the sunrise.

My favorite moments during this time are right after dinner, before I start to do anything else, I will just sit and be still for about an hour. It's a peaceful time to reflect on the day and listen to God. It helps me align myself so I can be ready for the next day.

Well, I have 30 minutes before the sun goes down. Fortunately I'm having leftovers tonight!

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