“Every Thursday I quit something.”
Bob Goff was being sarcastic when he said that at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this summer, but I wrote it down because I thought I might give it a try. I’ve been looking for things I can give up. Remember I gave up Candy Crush? Yep it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I didn’t want any of my child’s memories to include me with an iPad glued to my face, and each time I chose Candy Crush over spending time with my daughter or husband the message was:
Candy Crush is more important than you.
Each time I take a phone call while having lunch with a friend or family member the message is:
This phone call is more important than you.
Each time I walk and scroll through my phone and pass closely by a stranger the message is:
You are invisible to me.
Yuck. And I know how annoying it is but sometimes I do it anyway. I don’t want to be that person.
It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.
I’ve started to keep my phone on silent for most of the day and I’ve deleted all the apps that are time fillers. It’s a good start. I try to put away my phone while I’m walking on the street or while a store clerk is checking me out. There are still too many things competing for my attention and I’m working on that. The more I give up things, the more I realize how those things were diluting my real experiences.
I see more.
I listen more.
I read more.
I sleep better.
My joy is richer.
I love the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. There’s a chapter where he outlines seven principles for simplicity…and he talks about the importance of rejecting anything that produces an addiction in you. I think addiction is when I check my phone before I get in the shower, and then re-check it as soon as I step back out. I’m not sure I can reject my phone, but I can distance myself from it as much as possible.
Simplicity is freedom, not slavery.
I’m slowly re-discovering the things the modern world has stored away and forgotten about. I’m still looking for the perfect rotary phone with the super long cord. I love my “new” typewriters. I see the words pop up on the page and it feels like I’m making them permanent. You should see how frustrated Boo gets when she realizes she can’t backspace. Yikes: I’ve learned how dependent I am on spell check. I can’t spell anymore and that scares me.
Instead of spending time on my phone the other day in the Costco Pharmacy, I picked up a magazine. The first article I flipped to was “This is Your Brain on Gadgets.” Pick it up next time you are there or let me summarize in a nutshell: frequent use of technology changes your brain, and not in a good way. And imagine what it is doing to young, child-sized brains…sad and scary.
So how do we become deep people?
Begin to look for the time fillers in your life. Find ways to unplug from them. Don’t let them dilute your life, intrude and thin out your joy.
And don’t let time fillers be more important than the things that are really important.
Don’t just fill time just to fill time.
Make room for joy.
What I love:
1. The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster: An Christian manual on how to navigate this crazy world by returning to simplicity and discipline. I wish the whole world would read this book (and only watch Little House on the Prairie).
The Year of Joy Recap:
Day 1: The Year of Joy: You are deserving of joy. Many times we confuse joy with happiness. They are two separate things. Happiness comes from circumstances, but joy is an attitude that defies circumstances.
Day 2: A Bigger Target: Focus changes everything. Our goal in life should be to be much, not to have much.