I've found myself unable to sleep much these last few days. Is it myopia? Dystopia? Is it the paean and the clanging, and the tolling, throbbing, clangor of the bells bells bells bells bells? Maybe yes. Maybe not. Maybe porridge, sickly hot. Maybe sweat and beats and wrinkled sheets beneath my bed bed bed bed bed.
Hours crawl. Bioluminescent monsters stomp around in the living room, just out of mind, not out of sight. I cannot remember my dreams. I can remember my disappointments. And so I found myself awake and asea during the witching hour, garbed in synthetics and clothing born of labor, not love. Indeed, the only thing born of love was the toboggan* atop my barren head, wrought by the fingers of the girl I love. I found myself in the hinterlands, staring up at the sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Quadrantids. Alas, it was not to be.
Coffee consumed, and even its typical bitterness was as honey, though it frothed rabid for unknown reasons. I think on my goals for the year, for myself, for my family. Keisha and I have been steadily scaling down things for several months now, and our goal is to get even more simplistic**. It began when I decided to save money and cancel our satellite back in the summer of 2010. We traded a crazy bill for a cheap Netflix plan. And yet, after sixteen months of digital streaming, I've found myself more attracted to PBS and basic television, and those only on occasion. Sure, there are plenty of great shows available at my desires (Buffy!), but I'm loth to spend so much time in front of a monitor. A recent survey found that the average American spent 2.7 hrs/day watching tv, which equates to about six-weeks of non-stop, 24-hr viewing. And that's just tv alone. I dread thinking of computer usage...
So we both came to the conclusion that we're going to get rid of Netflix at Stewartland. By our reckoning, any movies/shows that we really want to see, we'll be able to get them from either the library or Redbox. In conjunction, we've scrapped much of our DVD shelves. Next up comes the bookshelves, I think. Because, I wonder, why hang on to these things? I'm not nostalgic. I'm not materialistic. So why keep them?
I would love to get to a point in my life where I have few things that I simply "have" to have. I remember reading this article about a family that limited itself on how many items each person could have. Seems like it was around a hundred or so, which included everything from socks to toothbrushes to kitchen gadgets. If you wanted something new, something else had to go. Part of me really likes this idea. This was one of the reasons why we limited the amounts of gifts Avonlea got for Christmas. From us, there were three, and we tried to convey this to the rest of the family, too. We don't want her to grow up overindulged and spoiled***.
Maybe it's that I'm getting older, though my dissatisfaction has been growing for a while now. I turn twenty-six next weekend. I wonder what I'm doing with my life. How am I making a difference, not only in my community around me, but in my family, too. Why am I content to spend so much time at home, with my nose in a book? Thank God that I only average about four hours per week with the PS3. I thank God that I don't have a smartphone. I'm tired of the sham of politics. I'm tired of the bickering in the church. I'm tired of the apathy of bosses. I'm tired of suburbia. I'm tired of the passivity of America. I want to be different. I serve a Jesus that was different, that was hated, that lived a radical-but-simple life. And I want to be more like Him.
It's a sort of Runic rhyme, really, to the tintinnabulation of the bells bells bells bells bells. I am forever thankful that I've been blessed with a house to keep me warm, a closet full of clothes, and five pairs of shoes. I have a job, while many do not. I have a car. Two, actually. I'm healthy. I could be much worse. I could be much much worse off. Am I stuck in idealistic youth? No, I think not. Am I held back by fear and trepidation and idleness? That remains to be seen. Here's to hoping 2012 is different.
* An apparent colloquialism of the Appalachia region. By toboggan, I mean a knit cap. I grew up calling these things toboggans, and didn't realize the discrepancy between the words until I was in college. I love Kentucky.
** I'm hesitant to use this buzz-word, but it best describes my ambitions.
*** Okay, we want to spoil her with love, not materials. I trust I make sense.