My father didn’t curse often, but he inevitably would when the phone rang during supper. This was the 50’s and 60’s–before answering machines, voice mail or even off buttons for the ringers. He hated that anyone from the outside world could disturb our family’s peace, and we had no control of it.

Today we do have control, but oh so many more invasions into our domestic lives. My friend Linda is new to computers (I know, I know) having resisted allowing them into her life until a few months ago. She confessed to me that she finds email invading her life. “You have to choose when to respond or it can consume you.”

The rest of us are like those frogs in a pot of water where the heat is being gradually turned up. They don’t notice they’re getting killed. Linda, who jumped into the boiling cauldron immediately “got” that it’s too hot to survive. Smart lady!

I allow myself a few limited time periods to deal with email–20 minute blocks of time using a timer. Without that limitation, I’m too easily drawn into the vortex that is cyberspace and can’t get out. Anything that doesn’t get dealt with during those prescribed times gets saved until the next allotted slot.

After 7 days of being entirely unplugged while at the Golden Door, I know how sacred time is and how important it is to set our own limits and respect them. I’m interested to hear how you protect your precious time.

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