Sunday, May 26, 2013

Choosing What's Important: When It's Time to Unplug

I'm sure we all have it; E-mail inboxes filled up with messages that want your attention. Voice messages on your phone that need to be checked. Texts that need to be replied to. It seems everywhere we turn there is someone or something that wants our time, our money, our attention.

How to discern what is a distraction and what is truly important is becoming increasingly more difficult.  Lines tend to blur and pretty soon, when our defenses our down, or we're really tired, or hungry or bored or lonely we do something we don't intend to. We purchase something we don't really need. We eat something that's second-rate instead of making the time for something that would nourish our bodies. We waste our time drifting online, vegging out in front of mindless tv, checking out that e-mail that has a sale for 40% off that something we don't really need but the sale will end tomorrow.

One thing I've come to realize is that if I'm not purposeful with my time then I will waste it. It's a given. Now by this I don't mean we need to always be working and be productive and efficient all the time. I'm not saying every minute needs to be tracked and held into account. But I find that I have misinterpreted rest and refreshment with distraction. If I don't intentionally make time to for true Re-Creation or something that will renew my energy and give me strength I will spend my time caught in a pendulum of working until I'm completely burnt-out or taking a break that really isn't a break but just wasting my time with distractions.

There is a time and a place to do something mindless. There is a time to just relax and unwind... but are you truly relaxing? Are you truly unwinding? Or are you numbing yourself from reality? Are you trying to forget what hurts you? Are you trying to escape from pain or heartache or loneliness? Are you afraid of your brokenness? Are you afraid of being unaccepted?

My propensity lately is when I'm hurting bad emotionally to want to eat sugar. I want to numb my heart by overeating. I want to drown myself in decadence because then I will not focus on what's really bothering me... instead I will distract myself for a little while and then punish myself with self-loathing that I have once again fallen off the horse, so to speak, and broken with my new way of eating.

I am also in a dangerous position when I am tired and online. I once bought CLEANING products online on a whim... because it was after midnight and I was tired and I thought it would be a good idea to clean the house but I was exhausted... and so my guard was down and so I clicked a button and made a purchase. I woke up the next day with buyer's remorse.

Exhaustion is dangerous: I have written e-mails that I shouldn't have written because my tongue was loosened. I have gotten lost in facebook and pinterest for hours because I was tired. What I truly needed in those moments was rest... and in that moment that would have looked like sleep.

Sometimes what I really need is to refresh myself: give myself a facial or soak in a bathtub, drink a hot cup of tea, go for a walk, read a good book, work on a scrapbook page- bottom line do something that will help me to reconnect with myself and renew my energy... but instead I waste it on distractions.

There is a time and season for everything under the sun. I just want to be sure to try and use wisdom and discernment with my time. I try to figure out when I'm feeling weak and vulnerable and desiring distractions and steer myself away from the computer or the pantry, etc.

Do any of you struggle with this? How do you manage your time? What do you do that brings renewal and refreshment? How do you discern what is "restful" and what is just a distraction?

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