Pete and I chat a lot on our morning walks and today was no exception. We run the gamut of silly to serious, introspective, constructive – you name it, we stomp around for a few miles and verbally put the world in order. Something we’ve both been working on is a little mantra I mentioned (might have even made it up myself, regardless, I’m claiming it) a month or so ago: Less noise, more life.
What it means is simple, but the application is a little tricky. Noise, of course, is more broad in this sense, including visual noise, social, work, life – if it adds clutter in some way to your day it is noise. Trim back the noise, live more real life.
As a couple of ADD kids, neither of us is particularly good at focus, yet we crave order from chaos to cope with our fireworks brains. It’s easy to get wrapped up in busy things – noisy things – like tv, websites, hobbies, and other attention grabbers. Some of these things are valid noise and can make my day a little happier, but most of the things that suck up my time are just noise. The challenge is recognising them and cutting them out of my life.
I used to frequent some half a dozen websites daily, from people whose work I admired in some way, and a few were pure eye trash (I’m pointing at you Tumblr). I cut the cord to the blogs, I stopped visiting Tumblr every day. You know what? I don’t miss them. I still admire the writer, the photographer, and I still love weird and wonderful things that get posted to Tumblr blogs en masse, but I know where to find them if I want them, and they aren’t likely to go away because I’m not keeping tabs on them.
I also stopped watching BBC Breakfast months ago. It feels great. I instead, stay in bed a little longer and read the BBC News app headlines on my iPhone to get a feel for the world around me. I don’t do it every day, but I feel like I’m in control and not waiting for real news to be served between fluff pieces on the BBC sofa. I took control of that noise.
There are still big steps I need to take in this less noise, more life journey- I still waste time in bucketloads. I may have less noise, but I fill the space with something like dark matter. It takes up space, but I can’t see it or explain it. I’m working on that. I want to read more, learn more, draw and paint more, walk more, cook more… you know, REAL STUFF.
All that stuff I was following on the web? That’s real people doing real stuff. Writers, photographers, artists… I used to have a big gripe (still do) about people who watch reality TV shows (Big Brother, et al): Stop watching other people living and get on living yourself. I may not watch TV crap, (nor do I watch much TV in any given month anyway), but I’m still working on the living thing. I have less noise, but my focus issues still hold me back a bit.
I will overcome it though. I am mighty.