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Time, Stuff, Integration and Balance

It's been 11 days since I've posted to the weblog, and I have to say, I needed the break. Because of our yearly family vacation to Western Pennsylvania and the prep beforehand, I've taken a little blogging vacation, and it was good.

I've also felt a bit disconnected with the news and blogging world, even though I had the Powerbook along last week for emergencies, and the Zire with WiFi card for playing around. It was good to have these tools along, even if they received minimal use during the week.

I truly resisted any draw of the Mac on my time. Surprisingly, it wasn't difficult to walk away from the Powerbook, the web or the blog world. Even Lance's 7th Tour de France was virtually wrapped up before we headed Eastward. The week away from my normal routine has revealed how much energy I expend simply “keeping up” with the world around me.

Sometimes I wonder how much of the multiple bits of info I track is worth the energy. Web sites, RSS feeds, podcasts, books — all useful and informative, but also time consuming. Scanning my NetNewsWire RSS subscriptions just yesterday, I wondered why I've subscribed to so many, and have resolved to trim them down this week to a manageable, reasonable level.

In general I'm feeling more and more challenged on how I spend my time. As I've passed the 40 mark, each hour I spend doing something is seeming more precious. I was struck by a comment made about Lance and the Tour, how he must consider each stage and what level of effort he should give. Should he chase down every attacker? Should he aim to gain seconds in aggregate, or blow his reserves for a 5 minute lead on the top contenders, if it means losing 10 the next day because he's spent all of his energy?

In the same way, how should my time be spent to its best use? How am I spending time with God? My wife and young son? Family and friends? How valuable is time spent with them in relation to everything else I expend energy on? I think, as always, it's a matter of finding a balanced integration of time, while continually identifying and trimming away that which is not important.

I've also been challenged while away to consider all of the “stuff” I have (we have) cluttering our home. How much of it do I really need? How much of it do I actually use? This is particularly true with the aging hi-tech gear, gadgets and peripherals I have moldering in the corners. I think it is time to slim down the hoard. So, don't be surprised to see some things put on eBay announced here.

Seems this theme is a recurring one for me after coming home from Amish country, and a week away from the daily grind, which I'm glad for. If I didn't have a little time to reflect, then how else would I see my life more objectively?

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Reader Comments (3)

Hey Cousin, email me!! .. glad you had a nice trip. I was on vacation, took my laptop, and hardly browsed my rss feeds either. Kinda nice to have a little break from the world.
August 1, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNola
Technology breaks help us in many ways, including realizing that we don't NEED all our gadgetry. Now, I am saying this while on a mini-vacation to SLC, Utah... :-)

I make it a point to spend a week or two every year sans most of my toys. I still keep my cell on, but in silent mode during that time. It helps me to clarify my purpose periodically.

Glad you enjoyed your trip, BTW!
August 1, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Roberts
Wow. This post is exactly what I needed to read today. I appreciate your honesty, with yourself and the blog-reading public.

It is a mad race to keep up with technology. Its fun at first. Intriguing. I was, and am pretty driven by the cool new gadgets of today. But technology is to serve a purpose, supposedly to make our efforts and lives easier, better, more efficient, more accurate, etc. Balance is the key. In balance = these desired effects. Out of balance = just the opposite.

Thanks for that nugget.
August 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLp

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