Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Scenes From a Fat Tuesday; or, I Want Less

When I first began composing this post, I had a robot (Shaun the Sweep) scooting across the floor in an attempt to gather the husky-tumble weeds snowballing around the periphery of my living room. A loaf of bread was kneading, rising, and set to bake itself in a machine on my counter top. Another appliance was washing my clothes and its twin was drying some towels.

And me? With all that help, you might imagine me poised in front of my computer, feet propped on an ottoman, fingers poised at the keyboard for a little reflective writing. Far from it. I was making soup, the old fashioned way, complete with homemade vegetable stock and diced veggies—albeit via the food processor.

But I wasn’t relaxed—the machines hadn’t afforded me the luxury of cooking a dinner in peace—I had 500 other things to do and think about. Sure, I could have popped the lid off some canned soup—but that’s not the point here.

The issue is that regardless of the advancements of which we avail ourselves we will always be stressed; we will never “catch up” because there is, simply TOO MUCH: too much information, too many opportunities, too many choices: and no more time than we’ve ever had.

I read recently that the typical American filters moreinformation in a single day than Shakespeare was exposed to in his lifetime. Poor Shakespeare? Hardly. He was able to focus on crafting a body of work that has not only outlived him by a few centuries, its taken on a life beyond anything the author could have conceived.

We’ve long past the point of being amazed by advancements: instead, we’ve become enslaved. We NEED the mechanical advantage just to feel we’ve got a shot at “having it all.”

And I have always wanted it all. Everything. All of it. I don’t want to miss a thing.

But I am.

I’m missing the joy of a slow simmer, the luxury of listening to more than a sound bite, the beauty of being fully present in a single moment that’s not intersecting with a thousand images, data, posts, and offers competing for their fair nanosecond of my brainpower (and i-can’t-miss-the-chance-to-see-the-potentially-life-altering-information-contained-therein).

So on this Fat Tuesday, I’ve decided for the next 40 days, I want less; less clutter, less pressure, less screen time, less input. I want fewer distractions and more interactions.

So here’s the plan:

Each day, I’m doing two things-divesting and investing.

Every day I am going to find something to get rid of: sell on Craigslist, take to the thrift shop, or, if necessary toss in the trash. I’m going to divest myself of things that get in the way of my breathing room—I am going to literally make physical space.

I’m also going to invest: in freeing my mind—giving myself some mental space, following pretty much the same pattern. I’m going to say no (toss) one unneeded activity (a TV show, a facebook surfing session, some other junk on some other screen) and make some mental space: for reflection, rejuvenation, connection to the Creator.

Join me?

#iwantless #lent #40daysofless

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this, I like it a lot. I wish less for you : )



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