Picture this: It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m lying lazily on the couch scrolling through FaceBook and stumble upon a picture of an engagement ring. A friend from college got engaged the night before, and posted a lovely picture of her stunningly large ring. We haven’t spoken since we graduated college together and moved to different states, and I hadn’t known she was seeing anyone. I ponder for a moment whether it would be weird to like her photo, then go ahead and do it.
Then I immediately text the group chat “Did you see so-and-so’s engagement ring?!”
Within minutes I have a reply, “No way, she’s engaged?!”
After which, the five of us spend the next 15 minutes significantly FaceBook stalking said “friend” to figure out when she met her new fiance, where they were during the engagement, how many people liked her status and whether we should love or hate this new member of her life (who we also FaceBook stalk in order to form a valid opinion). We decide we like them together.
The whole time I was also texting another group chat, trying to make plans for the weekend. This group was planning a weekend getaway to a mountain cabin, where we would relax and play board games together for a solid 2 days before returning to the realities of work.
In addition, I was texting a friend about how annoying it was to make plans when everyone’s schedule was so different, and how adorable the bride-to-be looked in her FaceBook photos.
By the time I finished my exhaustive FaceBook stalking and making plans for a cabin filled weekend and complaining about it all, my Saturday afternoon had turned to evening and the laundry had (yet again) gone unwashed.
A reminder of all the things left undone
I never intended to waste an entire Saturday, but in the blink of an eye it was gone. I made tentative plans (that I would later cancel because I realized I didn’t value spending time with those people), I worried about and compared myself to a “friend’s” life (who I haven’t even thought about in over 3 years), and the one conversation I did care about was dominated by unimportant crap!
When I started this blog, my goal was to stop buying clothes for a year and document my experiences. I wanted to focus on wearing what I owned, and spending less money on clothes that sat unworn in my closet. After my move, I felt guilty and panicked over all the clothing I had schlepped into my new space, when it had never even been unpacked into the old space. This blog was an attempt to put a plan into action to get rid of those negative feelings.
My first month of blogging was….confusing. I had to decide every day “Does this post fit into what I’m trying to say? What am I trying to say?”
I was finding out what worked and what didn’t, trying new things, reading a ton of other blogs about similar topics, and deciding what direction I would take next. I was discovering my meaning one blog post at a time.
I had no idea that three months later I would be on track to creating a capsule wardrobe, minimizing my apartment and investing in a retirement account.
Meaning, to me, represents being in the moment with the people you love. It means working towards dispensing things that don’t matter to make room for things that do. A large part of that for me is minimizing my belongings. It means shopping less so I can enjoy what I have more. My meaning comes from spending time with the people I love. It comes from not settling for something just because it’s easy, but putting in work towards what I want.
Simplifying my life and clearing out what is no longer important has allowed me the time and mental clarity to understand that Saturday afternoons are not made to be wasted. If I had cut out all those distracting text messages, I could have actually called my friend and had a meaningful conversation. If I had gone outside I could have walked around the lake, found a new adventure, made a new friend. I gave up all these opportunities to sit on my couch and waste an afternoon.
How dare I.
So I encourage you to find your meaning. Find something that makes your heart happy and do it. Go out and experience life. Get rid of the distractions so you can focus on what matters.
Find more meaning. Define. Decide. Do.