So far, I’ve shared two minimalism successes (my kitchen and couple time) and one minimalism struggle (our moped garage). Today, since we all fall short of our ideals, I will be sharing yet another struggle I have with minimalism.
We understand the importance of limiting connected time, and I even gave up most of my Internet time during Lent last spring. Still, I learned that some time online is really necessary for my mental health. What is important is finding a balance.
And finding that balance is my struggle. It’s so tempting to check in online, and read article after article, wasting a perfectly good evening. There have been times when I could have been playing a game with Jelly Bean, but I found myself surfing he ‘net instead.
What I see happening, honestly, is Internet usage replacing television in our household. Which really defeats the purpose of eliminating the television. We’ve done a great job keeping electronic devices in their place (I will share more about this tomorrow, when I tell you about a success), with the exception of those laptops..
What I don’t want is to waste real life by spending time “connected.” It’s the real experience that matters. It’s not about reading about the sea, it’s about going out there and feeling the wind in my hair, actually riding the waves. True, life on land isn’t as exciting, but there are people to talk to, gorgeous leaves to see, to listen to the crunching as we walk on them. There is Beanie, going through her childhood only once, and I don’t want to waste a minute of it.
So, what can we do about this problem? I’ve found that I do best when I set limits. If I manage to get up early enough, I incorporate 15 minutes of online time into my morning routine. Then, I get 15 minutes during Beanie’s bath. I do my blogging mainly on the weekends, or for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the evenings (after an adventure, usually).
Keeping to these limits can be a struggle, especially after a stressful day. However, I have found that family time and a good walk seem to do much more to release stress than visiting “time waster” sites. My mind feels calmer, less cluttered, and I am much less angry when I use my online time to connect with friends and fellow bloggers, and not anything else.
There is a real world out there, and we all need to explore it more.