Sunday, January 1, 2023

Mindful consumption leads to savoring

When I arrived home from work, three packages blocked my front door. One must've been a poster, or something like that, because it was so long and thin it created a do-not-enter look to the house.

Then, I ate a snack, chitchatted with Dina, and we decided to go for a walk. Boom! Two more packages were at the front door as we left.

Yeesh! Packages bombarded us throughout the holiday season, and I suppose that must mean we're fortunate. But then I wonder how horrific this one-item-per-package system is for the environment and if I need to cut down on my consumption.

In all honesty, I much prefer online shopping to going to malls. But there has got to be a point when enough is enough. Clicking. Scrolling. Streaming. Constant consumption. Aaah, will it ever end?!?

So I'm pivoting. I'm deliberately trying to be mindful of my consumption and only partake in activities and consumption that is worth savoring. Savoring. Yes! I need to focus on savoring experiences and not just rush to the next one.

Savoring. How European! Honestly, so much in life is not worth savoring — a trip on the 405, a mandatory 7:30 a.m. meeting that could've been an email, most of the junk I watch on TV. However, a lot of things are totally worth savoring — time with loved ones, fun with friends, making a nice meal, the aroma of a quality espresso.

I bet there is a lot in my life that is worth savoring, and I don't even think about it — a round of golf, bike ride, game of pinball, hug from Dina. Shoot, it turns out that I'm living the life I want to life, so it should be pretty easy to live in the moment and partake in the inherent joys of living.

I guess I've arrived at this savoring place due to a deepening understanding of the world around me. So many people I encounter just seem run ragged with overworking, anxiety and overconsumption that I've learned less is more. Why not only consume what is worth consuming?

And here's where it gets tricky. It turns out that most of the junk I consume isn't worth anything. I've binge watched countless shows that weren't worth my time. I've eaten poor food and wasted my time on nonsense.

But maybe that's partly what it means to be American. Maybe we transitioned from a fast-food nation to a high-speed Internet nation, and all we still know is how to order the Double Cheeseburger meal and add on an apple pie. The Internet is our modern McDonald's, and we finally understand that beneath those golden arches lies content that actually isn't worthy of our consumption.

If we were all lost in a supermarket when Joe Strummer was singing about it in 1979, where are we now? If we couldn't navigate a supermarket, how can we possibly navigate Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple and Google?

Well, as human beings, we weren't meant to — especially for us Gen Xers, whose first computers were Apple IIs. But I do believe we were meant to savor. I'm not exactly sure how to do that, but hopefully, I'll figure it out.