Archive for the ‘Less Stuff is More Better’ Category

Pulling the Plug – Three Month Update!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Update Clipart Three months have passed since I canceled internet at my apartment. Yet lo and behold, I am still alive.

Yes, it is a pain. But for me… it has been totally worth it. Though I do still have access at school and my parents house, there are many days I’m not online at all, even to check my e-mail! Though it was hard at first, strangely, I don’t miss it.

Tasks now have to be planned in advance. I keep a running list of things I need to get done online, then do them the next time I have access. Not too surprisingly, when I do have interent access I still tend to burn through too much time and not be productive. Thankfully that is now more “sporadic” and less “lifestyle,” like it used to be.

Even though my online time has taken a siginificant nosedive… I still don’t feel like I have much free time! Crazy. I wonder now where I ever found time to spend hours surfing the ‘net?

One thing I have done a lot more over the last three months has been READING. I have read LOTs of books. And my Bible reading has gone up as well.

In short: I feel more in control of this strange tool called the internet, less like it owns and controls me. So far there are no plans to go back.

Pulling the Plug – Can I Live Without Internet at Home?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Pulling the PlugI am officially without internet at my apartment now. I called COX Saturday and had them cancel my account. The representative asked me why. I tried to dismiss it with a nonchalant, “Well, you know, I have access other places.”

“Man!” he said, “I just couldn’t live without the internet [at my home].”

Well, I’m about to discover if I can’t either. I do have access at work (limited) and school (where I am now).

Later, another COX representative called me and grilled me as to why I was quitting my service.

Again I offered, “Um, well, I have access other places.”
“Like at school?”
“Yeah, and work, and my parents house. And stuff.” Gosh, nosy, nosy.
“Well, I can understand you wanting to save some money…” she was feeling me out, then continued, “but really, there’s nothing like the convenience of having it in your own home where you can kick back, with your jammies on, and…”

Did I just hear the cox rep tell me how she, “kicks back in her jammies…?!”

“I know, it IS very convenient. In fact, that’s why I’m quitting my service. See, it’s not about finances at all, it’s that I think I spend too much time online and am trying to cut back.”

Pause.

“Well, I can respect that sir. But… I can’t understand it because I use it an awful lot myself.” Nervous chuckle. Then she proceeded to try offering me $5 off my monthly bill. (Take note those who want a discount on their internet bill!)

I wasn’t swayed by her sales pitch and in the end she wished me well, “I hope you do better than I did at my inlaws recently where they had slow internet and I about went crazy!”

Yeah, I hope so too.

So I’ve asked myself, “How much access do I really need?” The only two reasons I could sorta justify were:

  • My graduate online class requires internet and
  • Keeping up with relationships via e-mail also requires internet.

Everything else was want. Even Facebook. Even this blog…

I frequently spend mucho time online and am hoping that cutting access at home will help curb that. Not that all my time online is a waste, I frequently read interesting Wikipedia articles and watch funny YouTube videos. Additionally, every time my computer receives an e-mail it dings at me which interrupts whatever else I’m doing. So I stop and go check who it’s from. What’s this, someone left another comment on a Facebook picture?

I admit folks, for me the internet is a huge time stealer! I’ve even confessed as much in a previous post.

The more I got to thinking about it all, the more I realized how much I would prefer to be spending my time on more worthwhile activities:

Such as….. investing in people. But also simple activities like getting caught up on my book-reading list, having friends over for dinner, exercising, keeping my apartment tidy, developing an online video review website (ironically) or even coming up with a consistent meal plan for once in my life.

Click Here to Read My 3 Month Update

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Heb 12:1)

Photo Credit: Looking for an outlet…

Putting My Boat Up For Sale

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Books, I’ve got tons of them. Clothes, I have too many. Doo-dads, knick-knacks, STUFF, STUFF, STUFF!

I… Must…. Simplify…


Speaking of which… I have a 22′ foot sailboat which I feel is a chain around my neck.

It always needs a little work but since it’s stored 30 minutes away from my apartment at the lake, that’s sometimes hard to do.

I have had a lot of fun with the boat, primarily the camping aspect. I haven’t found it to be as exciting to sail though as a smaller, more lively boat.

There are fees associated with owning a boat. For the first two years I kept it at a sailing marina which cost me $1,000/year. That’s $83/month. Just for storage.

This past year I have kept it in dry storage at a less expensive boat marina for only $30/month. Still, there’s also insurance ($131/year), taxes, maintenance, etc.

To make a long story short: it was fun, but it’s gotta go!

(update: the boat sold, the ad is here.)

In other news, I have sold a few other things recently:

  • I listed 8 books for sale on Amazon, two have already sold and I’ve shipped them
  • I listed a rifle scope on Amazon and it has already sold and shipped
  • I listed my Dave Ramsey Financial Peace CD Collection on eBay, it’s already up to $22
  • I listed my BlueTooth headset on eBay, no bids yet
  • I was going to list computer memory and tennis rackets but they weren’t worth anything so I threw them away
  • I culled my clothes and gave two full trash bags worth away
  • Crazy Love Part 2

    Monday, June 22nd, 2009

    continued from Crazy Love, Part 1

    “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

    I personally own a lot of stuff. If I were to count up every single material possession I own, the list would be extraordinary. It would take several days just to make the list I’m sure.

    For example, glancing into my closet just now reveals I own about ten pairs of shoes. Soccer shoes, jogging shoes, three pairs of dress shoes, cowboy boots, hiking boots, sandals, cleats, etc.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the “Parable of the Soils.” In regards to that parable, Chan had this to say:

    “I think most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it.

    Most of us have too much in our lives. …A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy, fruitful lives for God.”

    Does the stuff I own weigh me down? Do I own more than I need? Is my stuff really poison to me like Chan suggests? Perhaps, though I think the stuff which requires my time to maintain is more poisonous to me than the possessions which just sit around waiting to be used. Time wasters are real poison.

    My biggest time waster is probably computers and the internet. Sometimes I wonder if I should just get rid of my internet connection… (which I eventually did) Thankfully I don’t have a TV.

    One thing I do try is to consider my possessions tools that can be used for helping others. Maybe the important thing to strive for is an attitude of contentment, not greed.

    Stuff – Selling it Off!

    Saturday, April 18th, 2009

    Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

    Again, Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Luke 16:13)

    So I wonder, “How attached am I to my possessions?”

    I have a counter above the sink in my apartment. One of the items I keep there is a small pad of paper to jot notes down in. This afternoon I accidentally knocked it into my sink which happened to have water in it. My notebook was ruined and I found myself very irritated. A perfectly good notepad down the drain, so to speak.

    Thinking about it later I wondered, “If I am so attached to STUFF that I feel grief over the loss of a $1 notepad, how much would it hurt me if I lost things I really cared about? Horrors! how much would it hurt if I lost everything I own?”

    I decided it would hurt a lot. Uh-oh… I don’t want to be a slave and follower to stuff, I want to be a slave and follower of Jesus. If it hurts me at all – even the least little bit – to get rid of stuff, then I’m holding on to things too tightly.

    So, I’ve decided to try selling some of my stuff on eBay.

    After rummaging through some old junk, here’s what I’ve started with so far:

  • Two Go Kart Wheels – $21.50 (bought 8 years ago for a dollar)
  • 5 HP Briggs Engine – $61.00