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Less

January 3, 2011
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I have a wonderfully full life.  I’m so thankful for the many, many good and beautiful things I’m lucky enough to call mine – family, friends, home, work, the luxury of free time.  But too often, I find myself distracted, anxious, pulled in too many directions, and crabby with the people I care about most.  Since I wouldn’t trade most of the things in my life for anything, late last fall I found myself wondering why – why the impatience, why the feeling that there’s never enough time.  And when I really thought about it, I noticed a pattern – on nights when I came home exhausted from work, popped in a DVD of The West Wing, and zoned out until bedtime, I was always shocked by how fast the evening disappeared, and irritated that my free time was gone so soon.  And the more clutter I found laying around, the more piles of laundry, the more dishes in the sink, the more irritated I became.  So I started turning off the TV and making regular donations to Goodwill, and things started looking up.  So I think the solution to the problem of too much is, quite simply, less.

I’m not usually much for New Year’s resolutions, but I think there’s maybe some value to voicing an intention, in giving a concrete shape to these thoughts that have been knocking around my head for a while.  So in that spirit, and with the recognition that less is more of a process than an end result, my intention going forward is less TV, less stuff, less over-committing.  Less buying, less spending, less coveting, less waste.  And above all, less zoning out.

I think the coolest thing about all of this less is how much more I’ll have room for – more creating, more writing, more game nights, more reading, more long-distance phone calls, more puppy snuggles, more quiet.

Who’s with me?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Felicity permalink
    January 3, 2011 4:49 pm

    I think you have hit on something there. My “no time” definitely includes time for watching approximately an episode of television a night. I tell myself that this is necessary decompression (and maybe during school-time when the only way I can seem to stop worrying about all of the work hanging over my head is to enter an entirely different world it IS necessary) but I have started to wonder if the act of absenting myself from my life makes my life that much worse when I come back to it. I strongly suspect I would be happier if I spent that time with people, or feel better about myself if I spent it writing or doing the dishes.

    Unfortunately, given that I am still in school my free time is pretty much when my brain is too tired to do any more work which tends to happen around 8:30 or 9. And, since I live alone, that’s a difficult time to see people. So I am still contemplating how to fix this dilemma. But I entirely support your effort!

    • Ashley permalink*
      January 3, 2011 5:22 pm

      I so get that – my brain is so often just *done* when I get home at the end of the day, and television is the perfect much-needed break sometimes. I have absolutely no intention of cutting out my episodes altogether; I just want to make an evening of episode after episode the exception, rather than the rule. I’m curious to see how you resolve your dilemma – let me know what works for you?

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