Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Gospel of More

I know I've written about this before, but apparently that confession was not good enough. I continue to find myself consumed with consuming. I am not a shopper, per say. I don't spend money recklessly (except, perhaps on gummy candies of one kind or another - and maybe fast food milkshakes). I don't define myself by the things I own. I am not a consumer in the traditional sense.

I do, however, consume information. I read everything I can get my hands on. I've tried (and succeeded to some degree) in the last year or so to skip things that don't interest me. An obvious choice, I know, but a big challenge for me. I have a few blogs I read, a few preachers whose sermons I enjoy and a couple podcasts in which I regularly partake. I've got them all nicely organized and delivered to my Feedly page for efficient consumption.

I spend a lot of time reading and listening to crap. Interesting, often stimulating, occasionally important crap, but crap nonetheless.

I get Entertainment Weekly, which is a constant reminder of all the tv shows and movies I'm not watching, despite their obvious value and critical acclaim. I keep talking about getting netflix in the summer when our family has more free time - because that's exactly how we should be spending our summer: huddled on the couch watching TV!

I've only recently realized something that's probably been readily apparent to my wife for years: I'm never gonna catch up. There will always be more movies, more shows, more podcasts, more interesting, informative things to fill my mind and drive my imagination. That realization, in itself, is incredibly freeing.

I recognize it could lead to debilitating depression. There is so much out there I might know and never will. In a sense that's sad. In another sense it's wonderful. There will never be enough. The amount of things I won't experience is infinite - so if I add to it, it won't actually grow any (ask a mathematician if you didn't follow that).

I can chose, if I dare, if I have the willpower, to focus my attention on things vitally important to the rest of my life, not things that are self-important or portend some kind of intellectual completeness.

I'll be trying, over the next few weeks, to free myself from some measure of connection to my drug of choice. My Feedly link is tucked away nicely in an obscure bookmarks folder. Buried, for the time being. In a few weeks (months, maybe) I'll revisit it. There will be too much content to consume it all. I'll have to chose. I may chose to just ignore all of it.

Yes, I will be missing out on things I may never encounter. Interviews that will never happen again, words that will never be expressed in exactly the same way. But, in the end, when I really sit and think about it. There's nothing on those pages that will make any difference in my life - outside of my bizarre satisfaction in getting them done.

I shall not participate in the gospel of more. There is always more to know, more to be done, more to have. I will never have it all. As fun as trying is sometimes, it is detrimental to life - real life. Hopefully I can stop and smell the proverbial roses a bit this Spring...

...but not every rose, because that's obsessive and as satisfying as it is, it's also incredible stressful and will ultimately lead to me to shrivel up and die.

Happy Thursday!

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