Friday, September 4, 2020

More Minimizing Musings

The previous post contained some thoughts, as well as struggles with attempts to minimize the multitudinous stuff in my life.  Following that post, one of my daily readings based on Stoic Philosophy contained this from Seneca, an ancient philosopher and foundational figure in Stoicism:

"No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they do not have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have."  (Moral Letters       Letter 123, Section 3)

I doubt if marketing was a recognized vocation as time measurement moved from BC to AD, but Seneca's observations indicate that human desire to have it all is timeless. Today our culture packages that desire in both blatant and subtle ways. As much as I resist, the desire for MORE is powerful!

As I was developing topics and ideas for future videos (I have a channel on YouTube) the thought of better equipment entered my mind. A camera meant for multiple purposes (I currently use my phone), a Bluetooth remote control, wi-fi enabled to post instantly or livestream, ways to attach the camera to multiple things all while having a stable picture, and the software to edit the footage were being entertained in my mind.  After spending almost 2 hours researching(time not set aside), I abruptly ended my search. Realizing that more technology means more time futzing, learning, and getting frustrated; these videos while being enjoyable are not necessary nor income generating; and not wanting to part with the hundreds of dollars necessary for all the equipment, I returned to my original activity of setting schedules and ideas. 

In reality I have so much. Actually I have too much stuff which distracts from my enjoyment of life. Time spent on stuff is time taken away from activities and relationships I enjoy. A recent time with family on the North Shore of Lake Superior helped to again refocus my daily expectations. Simple hiking, biking, a rustic cabin, the sound of waves crashing on the shore, and time spent with a flexible schedule brought so much, none of which was frustrating. The photos posted are flowers in Gooseberry Falls State Park. Simple yet magnificent!

Another ancient philosopher wrote, 

"Again I observed another example of how fleeting life is under the sun: a person who is all alone - with no child, no sibling - yet works hard their entire life. Still the person is never satisfied with the wealth gained. Does the person ask, 'Why am I working so hard?' or 'Why am I depriving myself of life's simple pleasures?' This too, is fleeting, like trying to catch hold of a breath; it is a miserable situation."  (Ecclesiastes 4.7-8   The VOICE Translation)


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