I used to feel like there was something missing from my life. Now I realize I had the opposite problem: My life is full of too much crap.
Most of my friends would laugh at that sentence, because I am locally famous for buying and owning almost nothing. I don’t have a car, I don’t have my own apartment, I rarely buy food, I eat the same $5 lunch every day, I become angry and violent when anyone suggests going to bars without drink specials, and aside from a fairly recent splurge for suits, shoes, shirts and ties for work, I haven’t spent more than $200 on clothes in the past decade.
I’ve bought a few non-essential toys since I started working and (sort of) raking it in – new skiis, a new computer, an electronic piano – but for the most part I live a very Spartan lifestyle. Well, except for the odd $100 bar tab. But the point is: I don’t buy a lot of crap. And yet my life is full of it.
The crap I’m talking about is the mental, psychic type. Negativity. Stress. Distraction. I’ve already given up caring about politics. I want to eliminate more. Rather than try to go out and find new stimuli to add to my life, why not just clear out some room and see what else comes in?
Here is a short list of things that I still have in my life, but don’t want:
1) Expenses: I can easily halve my partying budget (my only real expense) starting today. Or possibly after this weekend. If I quit my job and set off vagabonding, a time will come when I’ll realize that I could have an extra year of travels if I’d passed up just a few $300 bar tab weekends. Ouch.
2) Coffee: I am addicted. I literally can’t remember my last caffeine-free day. I’ve cut back hard this week, and am looking forward to going all the way. Freedom Twenty-Five: Now powered by 100% pure natural energy.
3) Working out: Lifting weights sucks, and has rapidly diminishing returns to health. Three one-hour workouts per week is now one half-hour per week, with the extra time (and then some) distributed amongst yoga, sex and pickup sports.
4) Girl Drama: No more defining relationships, no more state-of-the-union addresses (AKA, what is “this”?), no more arguing about bullshit with girls who just want attention. Why make things more complicated than “I like you and you like me”? Answer: There is no good reason.
5) No more dressing up in funny clothes, playing wizard staffs and rocking out the dance floor all night.
(OK, Just kidding about the last one. Dressing up silly and getting drunk and playing games and chasing girls may not be how I want to spend the next ten years of my life, but it’ll do until I come up with a better plan.)
As for the rest of the crap that clogs up my life (our lives): Get rid of it. Make a list of everything that gives you more stress than happiness. Jobs, obligations, hobbies, possessions, and yes – even friends. Then toss it.