This week marks the beginning of one of the country’s, and the world’s, biggest parties: Mardi Gras, baby! People from all over flock to New Orleans to drink, party, trade beads, and overall, have an experience of excess, which got me thinking about how our culture is built on the idea that more is better. (I know that we also have a pretty strong presence of “less is more”, but don’t forget that the one of our Americana hallmarks is “keeping up with the Joneses”.) We have a lot of things because we like a lot of things.
We are bombarded every day with advertisements telling us that in order to live a happy, fulfilled life we need to buy this, or go there, or eat that. We’re constantly being told that what we currently have isn’t good enough. Well, I’m here to try to convince you otherwise.
What I want to do is show you that not only is what you have is absolutely good enough, it may be too much. Allow me to identify some places where we (read: I) tend to have an excess of stuff, and what to do about it.
We’re not so good with the whole not-looking-at-our-screens thing. Hell, I’m writing this at a desk with two computer screens and a phone staring me right in the face. I realize that there isn’t much we can do about the amount of time we spend with our screens while at work, but the goal here is to limit screen time elsewhere.
A good way to do that would be to cut your TV time in half – don’t freak out, that still leaves enough time for your precious [insert TV show du jour] episodes, it just gives you and your eyes some time to rejoin to the physical world around you. Put on some music and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, or dance, chat, write, color, or cook. Do something that doesn’t require a screen and see what kind of effects that has.
I know I told you to cut your TV time, specifically, but it should go without saying that that includes laptops, too. It doesn’t do us any good to leave work after eight hours of staring at a screen and get home just so you can stare at another screen. Oh, and stop using your screens in bed. I hate to sound like your mom here, but you’ve had enough screen time for one day.
CLOTHES AND THINGS
I’m as guilty of having too many clothes as anyone, but sometimes it’s just hard to get rid of some things. Instead of telling you how to get rid of some clothes, I want to tell you why to get rid of them: space. It’s that simple. Having a lot of clothes seems nice, and who doesn’t like to have a lot of options? But the truth is, most of those clothes are just sitting in your closet and/or dresser taking up space and never being warn. Remember the cliché from earlier? That less is more? It’s especially true here.
You didn’t think I was going to take it here, did you? The truth is, we’re so interested in having a lot of friends, that we forget to look for the right friends. Quality over quantity comes through more here than anywhere else because if you look to fill your life with lots of people, you will inevitably let in some bad apples. Focus on finding the right friends, not the most friends.
Until next time – rid yourself of that excess baggage.