Getting Rid of Junk in Life
Getting Rid of Mental and Real Junk: Healthy for the Mind and Body
Planning for a second child has really sent me down a road of exploration about myself, my life and what I really want for my family. Sure, I want the nice big house (our current home is well, very tiny), I want my kids to have a happy childhood full of exploration, family and friends, and I want my entire family to find joy in life in many ways. However, for some reason it has hit me rather literally that, in order to reposition my mind and life to lead my family down that path, I have to get rid of all the junk around me …
Clearing Out Media Junk
This first started while reading a spiritual devotional that talked about how sometimes you just have to stop, listen and think — turn off the TV, computer, radio and other distractions. So, I did exactly that for a few days and I realized that I had not looked deep into myself or my life for quite some time because of all of the distractions – e.g. news, media, mindless electronic entertainment and general information junk that is out there.
Part of this for me is also tuning out the rather fractious and mean-spirited political conversations going on out there this time of year in America. When I examined the tone and way the conversation was going in the news and online, I realized that so much of it is simply “mean spirited junk.”
Additionally, I find it is key to put down the entertainment news magazines, turn off the reality shows and tune out the gossipy conversations about celebrities I don’t know nor will ever know. It really is just all voyeuristic junk. Yeah, it’s fun sometimes to indulge in it and turn on the TV and watch real people fight on “reality” shows, but what is it adding to my life? What is it adding to my family’s life? In my opinion, upon some serious internal reflection, nothing at all. It simply makes me focus on those who have more – more conflict, more stuff and more meaningless junk.
Getting Rid of Real Junk
Cleaning out the real junk – old clothes, papers and old items I never use – is always cathartic, and just makes me feel good. Some of the items are really junk: old broken items I put aside and always think “I’ll fix that some day.” But, often … well, most of the time, I never do. And some of the items are clothing or household items I just have no use for anymore — those items get packed up and go to my favorite consignment shop to help raise money for one of my favorite non profits.
Keeping the Junk in the Trash
While I have just cleared the junk out, I am resolved to keep it out. How? It’s going to be hard. I love shopping, I love new things and have always been a fan of pop culture (grabbing the celebrity new magazine at the hair or nail salon is like sweet, sweet candy). But, I need to keep the stuff I do not really need out of my house, shut down the TV when meaningless junk comes on (or change the channel to something that brings joy), and take a book to the salon. I need to really just use my brain space for meaningful thoughts that add to my life, not obsess over things and people that have no affect on my everyday life. Because, not only is it better for my mental healthy, it is better for my family for me to be focused on the positive.
So, how about you, how do you think “junk” affects your life and your health? How do you deal with it?