Sydney Avey

Dynamic Woman — Changing Times

The Great Giveaway: Clearing the brush to find the path

Feb 23, 2016 | Great Giveaway | 0 comments

When you can’t see the path for the pests

overgrown pathIn some seasons of life, your feet can’t follow the path underfoot because it has gotten so overgrown. You plod along, trip on tangled roots, get whipped by prickly shrubbery and thrown off balance by piles of debris underfoot. Lurking in the debris are little bugs that suck your blood. Short of lighting a match, how do you deal with overgrowth?

These days, it’s the bloodsuckers that bother me most–the swarms of appeals for attention that trigger annoyance and dissatisfaction. A few of them are starting to show up on my “daily ditch-its” list, those things I am donating, or deleting, relinquishing or recycling, unsubscribing or unfriending.

Name it

Sometimes infestation occurs because of conditions beyond our control. In our mountain home we are losing an alarming number of pine trees to bark beetle. It is part of a natural cycle, although severe environmental conditions (drought, fire) have sent the numbers soaring. We have a mess to deal with. We need to recognize what is rotten and what it harbors, and we need to clear it away. Not dealing with dead vegetation can cause massive wildfires.

Cultural conditions can harbor pestilence. Satellite/cable TV programming is infested with content my husband and I find offensive. In our “anything goes” environment we are flashed with visuals and language we don’t want to see or hear. Television as we have known it is in its death throes. Fortunately, we have options. We are ditching the networks and switching to internet TV, starting fresh with a playlist of quality programming. Another upside–it’s cheaper!

My path will be cleaner when I remove what has grown old and rotted.

Tame it

I am hoping not to have to uproot Facebook altogether. I value friend and family updates. Your photos and updates make me smile when you are happy and send me to my knees in prayer for you when you are sad. Often times, I like what you Like. But posts that make me feel I need to see something, do something, or buy something to be in the know, up-to-date, successful–not so much.

Case in point. Huffington Post was beginning to get on my nerves, but when Kristen Lamb (she’s a keeper) pointed out that HuffPo gets rich by wheedling free content out of writers who are desperate to build readership, that did it. If all the “made you look” headlines weren’t enough to make me banish Ms. Huff, Kristen’s insightful rant put the culture maven on my “not buyin’ it” list.

My path will be clearer when I cut WAY back the unnecessary distractions that interfere with my vision.

Blame it

Faulty thinking litters my path.

  • Someday I may want to use that old printer that spits out 4X6 photos. Really? To add to the tower of photos that has haunted my closet for decades? What outdated script tells me I need to print photos and paste them into albums?
  • I might miss something important if I cancel this subscription. Given the numerous communication channels I have access to, that’s not likely. Choose a trusted few.
  • I am too young, too old, not “fill in the blank” enough. Maybe that’s realistic. Maybe it’s fearfully self-limiting. My path will be less restricted if I open myself to possibilities.

What do you need to prune, cut, or kick away to feel the path under your beautiful feet?

One of the seven deadly sins is sloth. In our modern world, we hardly know what that means. We aren’t lazy, we are busy every minute. My friend and Sunday School teacher Stephen pointed out that sloth really means unproductive, ineffectual, undisciplined, indulgent, neglecting your true responsibilities…ouch! I better count my toes!

sloth, the path to unproductively

photo credit: _MG_7777 via photopin (license)
photo credit: sleepy sloth 1020957 via photopin (license)

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