Archives for posts with tag: turn off the TV

You’re going to miss out on some things. Trust me. It’s unavoidable. You’ll miss cool shit happening you just didn’t know about, and things that you thought you could do some other time, but never did. You’ll find yourself exhausted, over-committed, distracted, or overcome by circumstances and miss out on some amazing experience. It’s going to happen. There is no preventing it, or planning it away. No amount of scrolling through feeds, or staring blankly into the gaping maw of the internet will prevent you missing out on things. The human experience is just that fucking vast, and even if, somehow, our lifetimes were long enough to do everything, go everywhere, meet everyone; we could never spend that lifetime experiencing what has gone past and is no more. So… get over it. No fear of missing out; you’re going to miss out.

I watched this yesterday. I hope you watch it today.

Reflect on it, if you can hold your own attention long enough to do so.

The way we use the internet is changing who we are. Maybe that’s unavoidable, too. I know I scroll through my feed too many times, too often, too much of the time, and many more times than is required to read what matters to me.

I need to be outside more, out in the trees. I need to be in my garden, and out on the trail. I need to turn the tv off more often, for longer, and silence the background noise for more hours of my day. I have books to read and miles to walk. My “inner voice” has been raising hell about this with me for a while now.

No matter how many times I check for messages, scroll through a feed, read the news, or use the internet to explore or plan life, it’s not time spent living life. I’m not missing out on less by being so “connected” – I’m missing out on more.

Have we had this conversation before? (Probably. It seems likely… this has been on my mind, off and on, since I first noticed a specific change in my cognition and preferences; I now find it hard to choose to watch a movie, and favor much shorter content instead, day-to-day. The linked video really resonated with me, because of this particular change.)

Not one of my most precious memories, or noteworthy experiences, of the past years have been things that “happened” online. Not one. I’m just saying… what is most memorable for me, personally, are moments in life, not online.

Am I who I most want to be, making use of the amazing technology that connects us all, in quite the way I do? Can I do better? What does that look like? What practices would that involve? Is it something to change – or would I be fighting evolution and progress… a curmudgeon… a dinosaur?

First thing this morning, I looked at my Facebook feed before I did anything else. That’s some shit that’s going to stop right now. lol I know. I’ve said as much before, have I not? (I have.) That’s how I know it will need practice, and that there will be verbs involved. It’s time to change – because there are changes I want to make. It’s time to sort out what those need to be.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

This morning I had to admit it; I’ve hit a wall. I’m stalled. I sat for almost an hour staring into the text editor of my blog, fingers – and mind – motionless. What the hell?

I scrolled through Facebook rather mindlessly. I put that aside, aggravated with myself. I tried to read the news, but I don’t actually want to fill my thoughts with that garbage, either. lol I put on music, which satisfies me and fills that cognitive void, but doesn’t “fix” anything. I update my “to do list” – rescheduling all the crap I could have done yesterday to be things I intend to do today. Then I move them to tomorrow. Omg. Seriously?

I pause everything for meditation. No timer. No agenda. Just a few moments of alone time with the woman in the mirror, breathing. Shifting gears from thinking to practicing awareness, only, is what got my attention more clearly focused on this bit of stalled progress. More awareness of the underlying fatigue, the yearning in the background, the loneliness competing with the delights of solitude, the world in fierce competition for my attention with the things that truly matter most to me, personally. It’s a puzzle. How do I snatch my attention, energy, and effort back from the agendas of the media, my employer, and the world?

…With great commitment and a lot of practice, I suppose… there are verbs involved. So many verbs. lol

I get back to my “to do list” and my coffee. I consider the one or two tasks that keep being reliably postponed, rescheduled, pushed off for another day, and wonder if I am allowing those, and my reluctance to deal with them, to derail me generally…? Or… Am I “just being lazy”? (Whose words are those, I wonder?) When I examine the tasks on my list that I’d like to finish up, I can see there isn’t even 2 hours of real work involved… I just… yeah. I just haven’t been doing those things. This is a less than ideally productive approach. lol

Tonight won’t be the time for all that, and it feels inconvenient to want to wipe that list clean now. I smile into my coffee, aware my impatience is one more way my primate brain seeks to distract me from simply doing; I can lead with my frustration and annoyance, become invested in the emotional experience and … not do anything about the things that create the experience. Uh-huh. Well… okay, so I specifically don’t want to do things quite that way, so I get up from my chair, in the middle of my writing and do one thing, and cross it off the list. I sit down smiling, and continue to sip my coffee.

Did you know that checking things off the list gives me a boost? It does. Fairly similar to the feeling of reward and satisfaction I feel when I receive a like on a post, or when I get a notification that someone has messaged me. It’s a very real chemical reward, but does require the bit of effort needed to go from seeing the item on the list, to completing it, to checking it off. I’ve noticed just checking off shit I haven’t done does not produce the same effect – although adding something to the list that wasn’t listed, but got completed, in order to simply check it off is every bit as rewarding as checking off something that has lingered on the list for ages. Do you keep a list? Have you noticed that little jolt of good feeling chemistry, and a sense of accomplishment, when you check things off that list?

Here’s where the verbs pile up, though, like rush hour traffic; I know these things about my experience, and still find myself stalled sometimes, and not doing the verbs. Very human. How to get past that? Push on. I don’t have a better answer. Do one thing. Then do another. Make a point of it. Turn off the TV. Turn off YouTube. Disconnect. Do the thing. Then do another. Make a point of it. Check it off the list. Did something not listed? Add it to the list. Check it off. Repeat. See something else that needs doing? Add it to the list. Do it. Check it off. Repeat. There is a path to completion – it is paved with verbs. lol These chores are not going to do themselves!

Time to begin again. 🙂 I’ve got this list, and a bit of time before work…