*Backs Away Slowly*

I'm not always sure where my thought process starts with certain feelings I have. And generally speaking, I make my peace with that. This can be for many things: home, work, hobbies, etc. Things ruminate for a while, sometimes they go somewhere and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they completely consume me.

It's that last point that really has been on my mind lately: consumption. For better or worse, my consumption level has been indicative of my current mental state: the more stressed/depressed I've been, the more I consume.[1] But in the past six months or so, I've been finding myself consuming the wrong type of content. I've been too focused on certain things, and ultimately have come to the conclusion that many often do – this isn't healthy.

Again, not sure where it started, but all of these thoughts came to a head when I had to write recently. Really, that's the words I felt at the time: "I have to do this". I felt that I owed someone somewhere what I had to say. But due to over consumption of other things, I was completely zapped creatively. It felt laborious. It felt like a chore. It felt like a job and no longer a hobby.

Since that time, I've been doing some other things in life that I've done in the past, but are things for which I have a renewed focus – woodworking, photography, and music. As my wife set off for a weekend of fun with her gal pals, I set off for a weekend of fun here at home. I found myself lost in creativity with the projects I was undertaking, though they were quite small. I combined the woodworking and photography by framing some shots of what I was doing and having a little fun. I realized that I could catalog my life a little more by only taking a few moments to set up a shot.

And that's really when it hit me: I've spent far too long consuming and not enough creating. The endless checking and scrolling has finally caught up with me, and like anything else that is done too much, it no longer makes me feel good. I feel better for the times I'm doing something meaningful rather than being online. So I'm going to fill my life with more of the things that excite me and fill my cup up rather than view things that bring me down or make me feel longing for something I don't or can't have.

I'm not leaving the internet. I'm not shutting anything down or stepping away for a bit only to come back. I'm just backing away slowly and letting my creativity point me in the direction that feels right to me. This whole new approach feels healthier and has reframed how I'm viewing my life in general. I've picked my head up from looking down, and I'm starting to notice a lot more of the things around me. For the last few years, life has been moving pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

  1. Yeah, this includes food too. Not proud of it, but it's common and normal, and if you're reading this, you should know that as well. ↩︎