When I was thinking about doing 31 days of Intentional Living, I wasn’t entirely sure how to start. Yesterday I defined intentional living as actively living with purpose. My husband was so nice to let me know that some people might choose to float through life, to which I said if they actively choose that, it still fits my definition. 🙂
I started to think more about it though. Where do I want these 31 days to take me? Do I use it as an experiment to make me live my “best life?” I don’t know how that would work. See the problem with 31 days, is that it is only 31 days. And, unless you are already living exactly how you want to be, save for a couple of things, it would be difficult to say at the end of 31 days “I have reached my goal!”
Take waking up early for instance, I started attempting this feat in August of 2011. Not that I didn’t always wake up early (I have a 2 and 4 year old after all), but I was waking up when they woke me up, instead of dictating when I would wake up myself. Now, after over a year, I am finally able to wake up easily (albeit entirely too early for normal people), and most of the time without an alarm. Awesome. But, it took me a year to be able to get to this place. Do I really have a year for every change that I want to make? Probably not.
I figured that I should set some goals for these 31 days. Obviously I would like to accomplish everything that is on my ever expanding list of goals, but that isn’t realistic, and I don’t want to feel like a failure at the end of this one month!
One thing that I have been thinking a lot about for this month is Television and Internet. Such a wonderful thing, yet also the biggest time suck that has ever been invented. Now, I would love to say that we will get rid of the TV, but I am not there yet. And it isn’t even cable that I am talking about – cable I could definitely do without. It is those other fun things – netflix and hulu plus. See, we have an internet TV, so we just play everything on the TV, just as we would if we had cable. And since we have internet, that is the other thing that will easily grab my attention. I am all about learning really, and having the internet available at my every whim, well, it can drive one crazy if they are not careful.
Take my early morning wake-ups. When I first started waking up early, I would have my quiet time, pray, journal, make coffee, generally get ready for the day. However, now, I get up, make my coffee, have a very short quiet time, and then turn on the news and get on the computer. By the time my kids wake up and my husband is ready to leave for work, my mind is in overdrive about all that is going on in the world, and 40 new ideas for blog posts that I could possibly write…but I don’t.
I would like to take this next month and dial back on the internet and news. I don’t need to read every single interesting blog post out there. I also don’t need to hear about the US election anymore. I am tired of getting riled up about the lesser of two evils, and becoming depressed by the economic outlook for our country. Instead, I could use the time to write that book I have been telling myself I want to write for the past 5 years, or spend some time in quiet reflection. I say dial back instead of getting rid of it altogether because I still like to watch TV and movies, and I think that you can incorporate it into your life without it taking over. I just might need a little more space from the politics and economic news that I get absorbed in!
Being intentional about life, doesn’t mean you have to be going constantly, it means you can take a step back and really enjoy your surroundings. I do not want to go through my life being so stressed about everything. I wonder if the reason people seemed happier way back when was because the news wasn’t on 24 hours/day. We didn’t need to hear about the latest xyz for a week straight, complete with pictures of the event while it is happening.
Do you find that you get absorbed into the news or other TV program? Is it easy for you to just turn it off and go on living without knowing? Do you feel happier for it, or do you always wonder what is going on?