Growing Greener

Nature photography of new green plants

Things have definitely changed since when days were spent vegetating before the tv and computer.

Instead of watching tv shows and movies for the majority of the day and being constantly on the computer (sometimes at the same time), I no longer have cable or a service like Netflix, and DVDs are rarely watched.  The computer is off and stored away the majority of the time; it’s most heavy use related to photography and running Roman Leaf.

Although video gaming has come back into play, it’s reserved for off-peak electric hours and usually spans 3-4 hours a night, if the console is turned on at all.

With so much less time before the tv and computer, there’s been a great expanse of time open to reading on the back step, crafting, and hiking, among other things.

Hoping to continue decreasing the amount of time spent ‘plugged in’, here are some tips and ideas to help us spend less time before our screens:

  • Try to reserve most computer/tv use to off-peak electric hours (check your local electric company).  Not only will the power you’re using be less likely to cause added power production, but it will help you break up and limit your time plugged in, and may save you on your electric bill.
  • Set limits.  Give yourself only so much time to watch select shows, play video games, use the computer, browse the web, etc.  If you only give yourself two hours to watch tv or a half hour to browse the web, you’re more likely to spend time with the shows/websites you like most.
  • Check email only once a day.  Don’t really use email?  Same thing goes for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.  Check only once a day and/or for a set period.  Save these for actually being social, not just to kill time or see what people are up to.
  • Save electronic leisure activities for after you’ve completed your important tasks for the day.
  • Consider getting rid of cable or your tv all together.  It’s harder to spend hours watching tv when you don’t have cable or a screen.  If you insist on having shows to watch, though, many can be viewed on a computer.
  • Limit ipod/radio use.  We don’t need to be listening to music every second.  Try driving, crafting, reading, etc without music or a DJ buzzing in the background.
  • Find other enjoyable ways to use your time.  Just because you’re spending less time plugged in doesn’t mean you have to sit and stare at the wall (unless you want to).  Find books you enjoy, outdoor activities that get your heart racing, crafts and hobbies that inspire you.

Spending less time plugged in is as simple as not turning something on in the first place, although it can be quite the challenge at first.

If you live with anxiety, these plugged in activities may provide a distraction and keep our minds busy.  When we start to limit these distractions, we may feel jittery and anxious for a while as we adjust to silence and more time to think.  But it will pass.

Let’s try to spend less time plugged in.  Whether we live with anxiety or not, let’s remember to take it slow, and soon we’ll find silence to be golden.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to limit your time before the screen?  I’d love to hear!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Bliss of Solitude Greener Gaming

Wooden Ladder | Memories

Wooden Ladder | Memories

The last photograph of a much-loved wooden ladder.  A present to my parents when they were married, this old ladder accompanied our family for decades.

We were unable to bring it with us this past move, and although I would’ve preferred to leave it on the edge of the forest to bring some joy to a new family, it ended up curbside.

Even without the ladder at present, it still brings a peaceful smile to my face.  I’ll probably always remember it sitting against the tree in the shade of the forest, growing older and warping as the seasons changed.

It’s a good reminder that memories outlive their physical selves, and that we don’t need to cling to things to hold onto memories.  While physical objects can serve as lovely reminders, they’re not always necessary.

We don’t forget loved ones when they pass on.  We don’t forget the taste of a perfect meal once we’ve finished eating.  You catch my drift.

It’s no big deal to keep some things because of sentimental value or shared memories.  But as with everything, balance is best kept in mind.  Having just moved a while back, it’s shocking to see what someone can amass and refuse to abandon because of memories or sentimental value.

Some encourage us to keep everything: our baby toys, blankets, clothes that no longer fit, china we never use, the list goes on.

When cleaning house, or just taking stock of what we own and want to own, let’s remember that our loved ones won’t turn in their graves if we donate the china, and we won’t forget our childhood if we donate our baby toys.

Our lives should be filled with what actively brings us joy, and with actual living.  Memories make the best collection.  They take up less space, don’t need to be dusted, and don’t have the itch of the hated sweater your aunt gave you for the holidays.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Nature photograph of flowers and a green forest Snow on Ladder

Living Light

minimalism and living light

This year brought a lot of changes.  Possessions big and small found their way out the door.

This year, I began living lighter.

There’s a wonderful freedom and joy of living with less.  There’s less to clean, store, worry about, maintain, and trip over.

There’s also less financial worry.  Well… a little less.

When you take things out of your life that you don’t need or use, and that don’t (actively) contribute to your happiness, you get freedom in exchange.  You get flexibility.  SPACE.

And did I mention there’s less to trip over?

You grow a much greater appreciation for what you decide to keep in your life.  You start to think about things more.  You get a better idea of what you really want and need.

Whether your goal is to live out of a single suitcase, three bags, or you just want to clean out the closet, I definitely recommend giving lighter living a try.

There is so much to give, and so much to gain.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’