I recently learned that every day, we all get about 9 DVDs worth of information sent to us. Think of all of the advertising just driving down the road you have to read (because, really, can you choose not to?). That is a lot of input to notice and make a decision on. Even if you think, “I’m just ignoring it…” your brain still had to process that, and choose not to play. This happens over and over and over, all day, every day.
I was considering this last spring when I wrote in my journal. I wrote, “The problem is that I am easily taken by all of the squirrels of information to chase down and yet I don’t, at the end of it, remember and apply what I’ve learned. For me, that kind of work happens when I read actual paper books or listen to lectures, even podcasts…” In other words, even if I am online doing “research” (loosely defined, of course), most of what I am finding goes in one moment of attention to hop to the next click bait…and then the next one…
I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve printed that sounded yummy, but I never made. Or how many times I saw something and considered, “I could do that!” but then didn’t. Or how many *10 steps to (fill in the blank)* that I never attempted. But still I went there, fed on it, and got nothing of substance in the end.
Why? Well, it’s not because the offering was necessarily poor, although many times it can be. It’s because I didn’t decide ahead of time to prepare the meal for my mind and heart, but instead just felt a touch of hunger for *something* and ate whatever was offered.
This is how it plays out better: choose, ahead of time, what you want to feed on. Choose what you are curious about, what you are needing to learn more about, who you want to read more of, and so forth. Make a list, even. What are the areas in your life that are bugging you right now? Where do you need help? What skill are you lacking, or what craft do you want to pursue?
Once you have the list, tape it to your computer. And whenever the squirrel shows up to prod you onto another tab, ask yourself if that nut is on your list. I think this is helpful in terms of time well spent, and getting some progress on your goals and dreams.
This winter, when I am online, I am choosing to feed on my artwork (lessons), my writing (online revision classes), and continuing my education on nutrition and herbs (online groups and webinars). That doesn’t mean I don’t poke around Pinterest or deal with my email. It does means that I don’t intend to go *eh, wherever….* for hours at a time.
I also find winter a GREAT time for real books. Here are some books that I’ll either be reading or revisiting.
I am loving this book for finally getting my downsized house in order. Once and for all. Truly. I love decluttering by categories, folding my shirts vertically, and the sometimes excruciating exercise of peeling away my materialistic bents. I have to admit this will be my second time going through it as I am not as courageous as I would like!
I’ve checked this book from the library a bunch of times. It’s not so much the book itself, even though I DO love the photos. It’s the whole IDEA I love. I love hand-made and hand crafted things. I love real textures, real materials, real fibers and plants. It jives with how I like my relationships, too: REAL.
I have been slowly reading this book and savoring it. What a wonderful (and biblical!) picture of what heaven will be like. Heaven! What an amazing place it will be with our awesome God. And how short our time is here, in comparison. I have been very blessed by this book.
If your prayer life isn’t what you want it to be, this is the book for you! I love how real (there’s that word again) this book is. If you’re getting my Rabbit Mail, then you know we’re discussing prayer this month!
This is a great book for any creative person who wants to accomplish more, and do it more effectively. I found it very helpful to try the routines he suggested, and he is also someone who writes about “choosing your stimuli”.
HEALTH & HERBALISM
This is on my to-read list. I find it ridiculous that people who are obviously struggling with weight have “good cholesterol readings”. And of course, there are those “fit” folks who end up with heart attacks. This is something on my “I want to learn about” list…and although I know the information (or misinformation) is on the internet for free, I know I’ll pay better attention with a book.
I have become smitten with adaptogens, not to mention herbal textbooks. I can’t wait to dive into this one!
Winter is my favorite time to read fiction. Below are some books on my list to read, recommended to me by some friends. I hope I’ll enjoy them!
So, there is a peek into my own lists of things I want to read and learn about. How about you? Have you ever tried making a list, and trying to stick to that? Links are affiliate links, of course 🙂