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The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.

Too Much Stuff in My Life

In the last article, I spoke about the ‘stuff’ that fills up my flat. But that is not the only junk I have to deal with daily. There is also ‘activity junk’ that I want to briefly speak about.

I have been more accutely aware of all the things I do these days, especially when not working (I get up to three days off every week). I meet friends, I go shopping, I go to the gym (occasionally),and I spend time with my man. While all these things are good and fun, I have been finding myself thinking — over and over again, ‘could I have done without that new dress?’, ‘could I have walked instead of taking a cab?’ or ‘could I have spent my time better than spending five hours with this person whom I know I may not see again as long as I live?’ — and even more often: ‘did I have to spend the last four hours online without actually having done anything productive or could I have used my time better?’.

It is all fair and well with the internet and the friends and the activities when you have oodles of time at your disposal. But even then, I like to walk away feeling enriched. I like to watch films and documetaries that give me something. This is why I don’t follow any soap operas, don’t watch mindless entertainment, and don’t keep up with the news (which give me an increased stomach acid production). I enjoy the feeling of having learned something new.

I took a long hard look at the people I meet socially. Some are great and I hope we will enjoy each other’s company for many years to come. But others I could easily do without. A random shopping trip with someone whom I see once a year is not necessary, it stresses me out, and in the grand scheme of things is just another distraction in my life. Composing an email to someone who used to be my friend back 12 or 15 years ago should be all nice but instead I find myself sitting there and not knowing what to say. Her psychiatric problems have got more pronounced over the years and now I don’t know what is okay to say and what isn’t. It creates stress for me and only prolongues a tiresome distracting email relationship with someone I am unlikely to see again in real life (and admittedly, whom it was a slight relief to get away from in the first place when I left Slovakia as she was becoming a ‘clinger’).

A little while back, I looked at my facebook friends. Out of the 300 people I used to have as friends on facebook, only a handful were real, proper good friends — people I would want to invite to my house for a dinner party or spend time with happily on holidays. The most important ones don’t even have facebook — my man for example, isn’t on there and I suspect some people think he doesn’t even exist. This is when I realised just how fake facebook is. Someone will look at my profile, see the number of friends and may think I am a social animal, when all I do in reality is sit behind the computer. So I looked at people I have on there and started deleting. And I was amazed to see just how hard I am finding it to let go of people, even those whom I don’t know well (I managed to get rid of about 50 people). It is incredible how much I clung to that boy who used to go to the same grammar school as me but was in the class next to mine whose name I couldn’t remember but clicked ‘accept’ when he wanted to add me to his friends. Or the lady whom I added by mistake that one time when I wasn’t fast enough to cancel the friend request — who actually added me, while probably feeling embarrassed about not remembering me… ‘But she is not bothering me on there, she hardly ever updates her statuses, she doesn’t spam my news feed…’

I should be ruthless and delete my account altogether. But then I know myself — I would never be in touch with any of my Slovak friends. I would never see the pictures my cousin posts up there. I wouldn’t have the fun and joy I feel when reading statuses of my friendsof old. Facebook is a useful tool when you only have a little time to catch up with friends' news and don’t want to pick and choose the one person you’ll write an email to.

I guess it comes down to importance — how important is this person to me in the long run? How important is it that I spend the next three hours walking from one shop to another? But even then, I found myself struggling, thinking — ‘well, I don’t know how important this person may turn out to be’ or ‘I may find that special something I am looking for in the next shop — I am right next door so might as well go in’. I was feeling stressed and anxious about things that I didn’t need to be worried about. Things that weren’t important, but I couldn’t see this back then.

While thinking about this, I realised it all comes back to God. Do I trust Him to show me what is important in my life and what isn’t? I know if I keep my eyes on Him, I won’t get sidetracked. But many times I get distracted with something new and shiny, which ends up pulling me away from Him — and inadvertently ends up disappointing me.

Especially in the next few weeks and months (the reason will come in the next post), I will need to keep a close eye on my daily activities and the ‘junk’ and ‘stuff’ that fills my life, in both aspects. Hopefully this will teach me to rely on God more and more every day and keep my eyes on Him all the time.