In the world of smart phones…

In the world of smart phones I find myself completely torn.

On the one hand, I want to be completely done with them and all they stand for. It’s possible I feel this way because I find it difficult to pull away from the vast amounts of knowledge that is constantly at my finger tips, the ability to be able to immediately lift someone up with a little spiritual nugget that I found earlier, or share moments with my loved ones through text (which proves much more difficult with a regular phone haha) My inability to control my impulses annoys me, as it always has for anything else in my life.

All of that, however, I can arguably say that with moderation on a computer, time management, and a little bit of patience from everyone around me, I can nullify all those point for or against the debate in my mind.

The point I can’t argue my way out of, is the money factor. Who the hell needs an $800 tiny machine that can shatter the moment you take one misstep in ¬†your day to day travels?! No one!

I can understand how your job may need to you have access to email at your finger tips, and that you would need something reliable and adequate. I get it. Some people live in a cut throat world where the less you have access to, the more you are losing, but a lot of us don’t live that way. Or at least I don’t…

This all stems from a recent event where I was camping. Normally, I would leave my phone tucked away except for a few kodak ¬†moments, because the point is…to get away! Well someone was off with the kids and someone had made a run in to town, so I left it out just in case there was an emergency and someone needed something.

Well there was an emergency alright and it’s name was Mother Nature. Since I had turned my cell data off, I was unable to access the weather (I was low on data) so I asked the park ranger about the weather as I had seen some dark clouds heading our way. His response…”looks like it’s actually going to scoot right past us!” Awesome. No need to put the rain slip on yet as it is roasting outside and the occasional breeze was helping keep the tent cooler.

15 minutes later…Que entrance: Down pour.

Around me was a 5 year old, and a 12 year old (who is not completely fantastic at problem solving and thinking things through logically)…so… there I was trying to throw a 10-12 person size rain slip over a huge tent essentially by myself (the help I was getting was literally back tracking any progress made). It’s pouring, the tent’s getting soaked, everything laid out for dinner…soaked. A 5 year old crying in the back ground “it’s raining…I want to go inside…it’s raining…what are we going to do?! ::sob sob::” Once the initial task was finally complete, I walked over to start putting things for dinner away, and there she sits…my brand new, iPhone 6, on the picnic table…drenched…

I pick it up, throw it in a bucket with a lid and keep going, attempting to manage disgruntled children and their issues with the rain. My answer to all the kids were “it’s rain, does it hurt? No, this is all it’s going to do. No, you can’t get in the tent and change your clothes…because everything is soaked and those clothes will get wet to. Why? Because the tent is wet and it’s STILL raining. We are going to wait and everything is ok”. That wasn’t a good answer for them, so they sat and cried until it stopped.

Fast forward to today: Here I sit, with a brand new iPhone 6, that’s not even close to being paid off, I can’t get another phone until it is, and I have to pay $200 for a deductible to get another one, as if I have that kind of money lying around waiting to spend. I’m a lower middle class American with a bachelor’s degree, student loans, and working in a help field. So of course, I’m living pay check to pay check. I could kick myself for thinking I needed something like that, but you know what? I’m in a contract, for another 2 years, until I pay it off, so it’s pointless to get a cheapo prepaid like I would like to do because I’ll still be paying on this one.

I have two iPhone 6’s on my account paying $170 for the payment and 6Gs of data (which we’ll never use but it was “cheaper”). That’s $4080 that will be paid over the next two years, to have this phone that I don’t need, when I could go purchase a phone (a smartphone even, if I wanted),$100 for two new phones, and literally cut that cost in half over the next two years. It’s aggravating.

It’s so easy to get caught up in this consumer world and feel the need to have the next things that’s bigger and better, but if I would stop to think about it, I would know that I wouldn’t need half of the things that I think that I do. I know this, but here I sit.

On the plus side, I’m grateful I’ve had this time away to gain some perspective for the future.

Has anyone here gone through the same feeling? Or dealing with the same thing?


The Lull

I find myself in a constant state of reflection: things I can do differently, what I can do better, what I see myself doing in the future, activities and lifestyle that bring me ultimate happiness in the long run, etc.

My mind is constantly running and I want to know more and more about everything that I think about.

How is it that we can have the answer tugging at our souls and we see it in our minds so clearly but we just do not have what it takes to get there? …Laziness for me, mostly. No, no, my vegan diet has not wavered, and other than some Ezekiel Bread here and there, I don’t waver much from the gluten free aspect either. Why? Because it’s become easy to find what I need and want with little effort (laziness). This isn’t really about that…

My mind runs rapid with things that I want to do, that I love or think I would love, that I don’t do, that I want to do, that I need to do, to get to the place where I can start feeling like I am actually living for a purpose.

These things come to mind immediately:
-mountain biking
-Hiking with my dog
-Working out at home
-Learning calisthenics
-Journal (my attempt today)
-Practicing Yoga
-Camping (more than once or twice a year)
-Get involved with like-minded people
-Have a successful garden
-Learn Urban homesteading
-debt free
-Connectedness with nature and people

These are the things that came to my mind immediately, and there are so many more. The list truly goes on. My passions far extend my time and ability, why? Because I’m stuck at a job, that I need, that takes up 40 hrs of my week with something that I am not super passionate about. Everything takes time, extra time, outside of work, time that we don’t always have. My job isn’t hard necessarily, but anyone that works 40 hrs a week is typically done once their day is over. Our motivation is little when it comes to doing extra things that involve more work that would actually bring us insurmountable amounts of pleasure. It’s a vicious cycle.

All I want to is to help people become connected with something greater just as I want to become connected with something greater. I want to provide an example and way of living that is simplistic and fulfilling, an example that shows it is still possible to connect with something greater than just going about every day in our same robotic way: punching the alarm, eat, shower, chores, work, eat chores, tv, phone, sleep, repeat.

Something so deep inside me tells me that we weren’t meant to live this way, and that part of me is dying to get out and live.

Sometimes I think if I had more energy to start doing things I enjoy before and after work, it would lead me to something great, or if I just had the ability to start over, or didn’t have bills, debt, and obligation breathing down my neck I could be free from all of it. It’s completely unrealistic, yet, it shouldn’t be.

It shouldn’t be unrealistic to live debt free, sustainable, happy, passionate, without relying on loans and a screwed up government system to help get us there. It shouldn’t be unrealistic to take care of ourselves without having to have a debit card, bank, 40 hr a week job that with a degree, is still barely enough to get by. We are set up to fail if we want to move away from the system we have been set up to depend on (consumerism), yet it’s what keeps us from drowning, even though we are suffocating in it. I just want to get out, and I don’t know how.

I have a vision, a vision for my life, what I am here for. Has anyone been in the same boat? If so, what did you do? How did you get out and start living the way that you want to live?