Looking Out My Back Window #74

Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Peace. I love this view. Having the marsh so close to us. The ability to walk out my door and go for miles in several different directions and paths, and just be present with nature. Someone asked me the other day, “Do you ever relax?”… a fair question, especially if you only know me in the business world. But even outside that world, as much as I love just hanging out and doing nothing, or walking in the woods, or reading, meditating, watching TV and/or movies, shooting buckets, playing catch… how much of my life, percentage-wise is actually spent truly relaxing, with no anxiety about what I should be doing during that time that might be more worthwhile? Hard to say. I think there’s several things at play here. One is consumption. We shopped yesterday, I actually like shopping and can always find stuff to buy (never met a hoodie I didn’t like). All my musician friends should understand this, right? No matter how many instruments you have, once you walk into a music store you’ll see a new one you want. Over time all the stuff builds up. I hate throwing things out. But I do go through periods where I just have to clean, go through, throw away, give away, and declutter. I just don’t do it very often. I’m probably way past the point where I need to seriously look at what I’ve been hoarding. Not sure it doesn’t create some stress having all this stuff. And another thing is – how many things are we capable of juggling at any given time in our lives? Because, if you’re running a cruise ship that has a capacity of 1000 people, and you cram 1500 onto it, at least 500 people aren’t going to get the service they deserve. I feel like the cruise ship of my life has been way overloaded for a long, long time. I’ll use one more analogy here based on musicians – back when I started playing in bands, and for most of my career, people just got in one band and focused on making that the best band out there. Now it seems like every musician is in at least two bands, and maybe more, and they’re all trying to juggle the band schedules with their work and family schedules, and even trying to book a gig means having to check the schedules of every members “other” bands before accepting. If life is a juggling act, and you can comfortably juggle three balls, why are we living with five of them in the air? Some of them are going to hit the ground. And, one other thing – after we shopped yesterday, we went to a restaurant to eat. There was maybe fifteen people in there. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, and when I headed back to our seats – everyone in the restaurant was on their phone, including a table of four (all on their phones), several tables of two, and even my wife Laurie. It was kinda eerie. I am not anti-tech or anti-cell phone in any way, but having everything at our fingertips, always, is a great time sucker. Facebook can eat up hours and hours every week. I don’t have a huge issue with that, or really any activity that we do for fun (binge watch TV, fantasy sports, video games, etc), but if we already are cramming more into our schedules than we should, then eating up the time we do have by screwing around on our phones, it gives us less time to make a dent in the things that are maybe more important to us… or are they? Because the things we have to get done usually will get done. And so many things will either be done half ass or not at all because we tend to say yes to everything, without even realizing we’ll have no time to actually do it. Unless, of course, we prioritize out some of the time wasting “fun” activities, but – who would really ever want that? We start our lives with no piles at all, no baggage, and as we get older, we start building a pile of responsibilities. Sometimes it gets a bit large, so we go in, work hard and make it manageable again. But over time it gets to the point we can’t get to it all. The pile grows and grows, so eventually we start a second pile next to it where the “important” things go, and the first pile will largely be ignored. Over time the second pile gives way to the third, the fourth, the fifth… eventually you wind up with fifty responsibility piles, one you’re actually trying to work on, and the rest just sitting there making you uneasy. No wonder time speeds up the older you get. Who the heck can relax? Sometimes the only answer is to say, screw it for now, I’m going to do something just for me. And maybe I should look at decluttering and only focusing on what is truly important. I think there’s a lot to be said for keeping life simple. I’ve just never been so good at doing it so far

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