September 9, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Yesterday was one of those days that I’d just as soon like to forget. It wasn’t all bad. Just the part that was awful will linger in my memory for much too long. If I could put it all behind me, I would. I’m trying to. A sleep has helped. Yet I’m not 100% quite.
Before I got together with Trever I was very little sentimental. From ages seventeen to twenty-three, I had a total of 279 photos on my computer. The only reason I had any from my three-month stint in Cairo is because a snap happy cohort gave me a disk at the trips end. I just didn’t care to save many memories from my college years. It was a difficult time and I went in and out of a lot of stupid relationships that I don’t care to reminisce upon to this day. I disliked carrying a camera around with me and seldom downloaded digital photos or had prints made.
In the summer of 2007, I got together with Trev and the digitized memories began. We took photos, got a little video camera, and even printed off emails to save for the future just in case. I can’t even tell you how many I now have on our family computer. But I do know it’s more than three-hundred.
On the said Thursday, I lost tons of videos and photographs of my Audrey and Trever as well as events with family and friends. You see, while Audrey and I were at the library, my iPhone 4 decided to shut off as I was about to reply to a text to her papa. It was about 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon and I was getting hungry. I was trying desperately not to panic even though my tummy was rumbling. “I’ll just plug it in and it’ll be okay.”
After winding down our library fun, checking out books, and walking home, I made us lunch and tried plugging my phone in. Fifteen minutes and no avail. So I plugged it into my computer. It decided my phone did not even exist. The only other option I could think of was to take it to Apple. So I walked back the mile to the mall in the 90 something degree heat, hoping they could help and would have an appointment fairly soon.
I was seen by a genius fairly soon, but he and two others were completely stumped.
“Sorry, it looks like your phone is dead. Must be the battery or something. Your only option is to buy a new one.”
“I have no money for a new one. I’ll need to call my husband and think about it.”
In those minutes that I contemplated my life with an iPhone, I considered my real love of all the stupid apps, the social networking, and all the other distractions and benefits that come with it. I started imagining what I had on my phone–trying not to cry about what my newly sentimental-self held dearly–and how stupid such a device really was.
“Why do I need all these things? It’s so impractical. I don’t even like tweeting. Or having a gazillion accounts every where. I want to simplify. My phone is the opposite of that.”
Right then and there in the Apple store, I was having an existential meltdown.
After much thought and a quick phone call, I decided to take the now steeply discounted deal (Cliff the Genius figured out I was serious). My phone is my one luxury; I can take memories with it, blog, find my way places, search the Internet, play music for Audrey, and so much more. And since I don’t have cable or Internet at home, it’s worth it.
What did I learn about myself though? Sometimes I can even clutter my own mind with too much stuff. Social networking is that for me in a lot of ways. I have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google+, Myspace, and more. And I don’t even use them. I need to continue to evaluate this. Maybe a sleep or two more. But I’m leaning towards making my life even more zen by a deletion or break from them.
This goes along with what we were discussing earlier this week on Monday and Wednesday. It’s a clearing of the mind clutter. And it can be just as, if not more, rejuvenating than decluttering the material stuff. Mental clutter can take up so much space that you can’t even see the junk around you.
So how can you start clearing it out? Ask yourself:
• What makes my stomach twist?
• What triggers me or sets me on edge?
• What do I keep avoiding?
• What keeps me up at night?
• What bothers me even though those around me normalize it?
• What causes me to not think clearly?
Start there and I can guarantee you’ll have a list. A counselor once told me a good rule of thumb is to keep your “work on” list to 20 things. It can become too overwhelming otherwise.
We can do this together. What’s on your mind clutter list?
Tagged: Apple, Clutter, Existential Meltdown, Facebook, Google, How to declutter your mind, iPhone, Mental Clutter, Mind, Mind Clutter, Myspace, Pinterest, Social Networking, Social networking is overwhelming, StumbleUpon, The clutter of social networking, Trever O'Brien, Twitter