I often find the use of quotes overdone. We see them everywhere. On coffee mugs, journals, magnets, Facebook posts, tweets, greeting cards–you get the picture. At every turn we’re bombarded with quotes that say to us, “you’re great,” “don’t stop dreaming,” “don’t give up.”
This saturation has turned me off to their usefulness and applicability in my life. However, for every rule, there is always an exception. Over the past year, one quote has rolled round in round in my head:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”–Ghandi
Now, I’m no new agey, hocus pocus kind of girl, far from it, but I do believe in change, no matter how small or big.
The “change” quote as I like to call it began talking to me last spring when I ditched my car for a summer experiment, turned year challenge to live car-free. Thirteen months later and still with no car, the volume on the quote is getting louder, telling me to change again.
I look around me, my lifestyle, the world, the environment and wonder what do I need to change? And in our over-connected, constant noise world we live in, I am not short on options.
- Reduce or cut off cable TV. This is a hard one for me as I love channel surfing, yet, I am discovering that this mindless act leaves me zapped of time to fulfill dreams. After all, how many repeat episodes of “Friends” or “Two and Half Men” do I need to see? It’s just noise. Or does watching people arguing over the IRS scandal on Fox News change my everyday life? No, it just adds stress to it. This one feels like a no brainer, but when you grew up with the TV as your babysitter it’s hard to ween yourself away. Nonetheless, I’m thinking of it.
- Leave Facebook. This one’s been rattling in my head for the past six months. The ah-ha moment for me was asking myself, “how do you feel when you visit the site?” Frankly, not so good, yet I keep doing it. For me, it’s “emotional cutting.” And yes, maybe it’s a personal issue I need to deal with, but the Facebook lives and personas that people project are just one side to a multi-dimensional coin. If we were true friends, wouldn’t I be involved in more parts of your life and know the “dark and ugly” side of your life too. And while people say, “just quit,” this one does take some time to get your head around. It may not be an all or nothing approach, but possibly some middle ground. I do like the photos. More thinking required here.
- Eat better. Another hard one for me because I hate to cook, but if I stopped my time watching TV and on Facebook, possibly I could find more joy in preparing meals. Even as I write this, I’m skeptical because I find little joy in grocery shopping or cutting vegetables, but possibly if I practice, develop a routine, and gain some successes, I’ll discover I’m not as bad as I think.
- Remove the clutter. Whether it’s your closet, your kitchen cabinets or the files on your computer, after a while it all adds up and is suffocating. Living by a principle of what do I need today, what’s the life I’m living today, not the one I want to live or the one I use to live, but the one I live today. With this attitude I can ditch all the stuff that’s cluttering my closets and cabinets and release the old life or the future life and just live today. After all, God tells us in James, “you do not know what tomorrow will bring.”
I have a lot to think about and while these are hard things to implement, I’m optimistic that the change(s), whatever the choice(s) will yield great things. If I’m ever in doubt, I just remind myself that living a year without a car has yielded great savings to my budget, but more importantly to my well-being of living without the headache of maintenance. In that vain, I can only be sure of positive results, so why hesitate? That’s the big question.