I read a great post by Sarah Wilson on the weekend about “low-rent” experiences. Those things that rent headspace or time in your life without out giving much in return- the low quality things that you spend your time on.hose things that rent headspace or time in your life without out giving much in return- the low quality things that you spend your time on. The article was essentially about giving yourself permission to quit these things- things like sitting through bad movies, finishing bad books, spending time with people who make you feel bad, things you feel obligated to do, one sided relationships, holding on to items that you don’t like but keep for all of the wrong reasons. Sarah believes there are two reasons that you hold on to low rent experiences, both equally valid in my life.
Imagine being so bogged down in the minutiae of life that you lose perspective and can no longer idea what makes you feel bad. Of whats draining your energy, making you anxious or niggly. Maybe you haven’t looked at your life to say what is paying low rent to take up your valuable time and headspace.
Or maybe, maybe, you know these things are low rent and you are just too scared. Or don’t feel its ok to stop doing them You need to keep the ugly vase Aunt Milly gave you, you must finish that movie no matter how bad it is (ohhh, so guilty of this one), you will help that friend every time she asks, even though she never has time for you. Maybe its time to give yourself permission.
Hooley dooley! This article totally hit home for me. Wildly careening towards burn-out, I no longer have the time or even perspective about my life to realize what activities make me feel bad. Fortunately, I’m awake at 3.00 in the morning a little too often- prime thinking time (kidding, sort of). So I asked myself- what am I doing at the moment that is low rent, what obligations can I take away. The answer came to me so strongly. Strangely enough, the thing that takes up most of my time is a facebook group I started a year ago, with over 2500 members. It’s absorbing more and more of my time. And I’m not enjoying it. It’s taken over my timeline, crowding out friends, family and pages I care about. It frustrates me, as I spend more time playing moderator for people’s bad manners than enjoying the group. Its taken the joy out of my online time. So I’ve walked away. I’ve handed it over to people that care. I’ve left the group. Yes, a niggly part of me reminds me that I put a lot of time into building it, that its big and popular, BUT I don’t care. Today I woke up and didn’t have lots of notifications. My timeline was full of interesting ideas and people I love, not people I don’t know arguing and demanding my time. I feel my self unwinding, stretching and sensing freedom. I had no idea how badly it was impacting me. And so I’m motivated. What else is low rent that I can get rid of in my life. So here’s what I’m doing.
-No more Breaking Bad.
-I’ve crossed somethings off my 100 list that I no longer care about.
-I’ve got a pile of books that I don’t want to finish anymore- I’m giving them away.
-There’s a particular meeting that I go to regularly- frustrating, no progress. I’m not going this week
-I’m deleting most of my email subscriptions.
-Bye bye to quite a few twitter people I follow.
-Those practical clothes I own. Ugh!
-clutter. I’m drowning in it.
Your turn- what are you getting rid of? Let me know what low-rent experiences do you have? Can you get rid of them? Will you?
If you only do three things:
1.Set aside some time. Ask yourself what low rent activities, people and experiences do you have in your life at the moment. Go through all of the things that you do- which ones make you feel bad.
2. What ones can you drop? What ones have the biggest impact on your life?
3. Give yourself permission to drop them. It’s okay
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