Unplugging and Decluttering

Erin and I started a great comment conversation on my previous post regarding “unplugging.” We both agreed that neither of us are ready to “unplug” (at least not completely). After all, how would I get my blogging fix? Though I do think that disentangling oneself from the fast-paced electronic and telecommunications world for short periods of time is good. When I’ve done it, I’ve found it gives me time to recharge and relax. After all, far too often, I begin to realize that my planned time relaxing at the computer isn’t as relaxing as I thought. But then, I think many things we do to “relax” often prove not to be very relaxing, i we were to look at things more honestly. So when my computer time becomes more of a strain than a joy, I take it as time to leave my computer turned off and find more rejuvenating activities.

But personally, I think that this is an example of a much bigger problem. In general, I think we as people tend to fill our lives with a lot of clutter when it comes to our schedule. We fill as much activity (and sadly, I’m including the time spent in front of the television with this) in our daily lives as we can, far too much, if you ask me. And then we complain when we feel drained and exhausted at the end of each day. This is not reasonable behavior, so why do we do it?

Personally, I think we’re driven by the quest for something, most likely satisfaction. If we can just fit that one more activity into our lives like we’ve been thinking about, maybe we’ll feel like we have a full and complete life. Maybe we’ll feel like we’ve accomplished something then. Maybe we’ll finally find what we’ve been yearning for. (Of course, I also think that a desire to avoid ourselves on some levels is a major contributor. But that’s probably best saved for another post someday.)

The problem is, this is the classic case of confusing quantity for quality. Much of these activities in our lives ultimately hold no meaning on a deeper level, I think. They entertain us. They keep us busy. They give us a superficial satisfaction that we’re out doing something. (And as a former recluse, I can certainly appreciate the allure of that feeling.) But they don’t really effect us on a deeper level. In the end, they don’t satisfy.

I think it’s important to occasionally look at our daily lives and the activity we fill it with and look for the clutter. It’s important to notice the activities that aren’t necessarily serving the purpose we thought they would and honestly re-evaluate whether they are worth our time, time that could be spent on much more fulfilling pursuits (like the rediscovery of self). It’s time to slow down and look for quality activity in our lives rather than the fast-paced race that leaves us exhausted and never quite as satisfied as we had hoped.

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