cutting through the internet clutter

I easily fall into having a diet full of garbage, both my actual diet and my media diet. I recently listened to a book that had some good takeaways, one of which was setting themes for 90 days at a time, like fiscal quarters. I decided in early April that my quarterly theme is “Cut the Clutter.” Physical clutter in my apartment and on my desk, internet clutter, snack clutter, schedule clutter, etc etc etc.

I have been trying to do this for a while (here, here, here, oh also here) sooo time will tell. Continuing to try to be intentional should go a long way — for now I have two more full bags of clothes to get rid of sitting in the middle of my apartment and some internet links that actually made my week better during this last week, in which I also read and though a lot about things far less heartwarming happening very close to my home. Pray and work for justice in the lives of all people.

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1. Beautiful moving video and ballad. I choked up at my desk when I first saw it on Friday. This kept my attention even though I was in an eggplant parmesan coma.

2. David Brooks, you’re not wrong but also guess what, you’re not breaking any ground here. Newsflash: moral, ethical, virtuous living will grant you deep, unshakeable peace and joy. But he relates these ideas by highlighting some wonderful people (heyyyy, Dorothy Day!), and with some lovely language:

“External ambitions are never satisfied because there’s always something more to achieve. But the stumblers occasionally experience moments of joy. There’s joy in freely chosen obedience to organizations, ideas and people. There’s joy in mutual stumbling. There’s an aesthetic joy we feel when we see morally good action, when we run across someone who is quiet and humble and good, when we see that however old we are, there’s lots to do ahead.

The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be. Unexpectedly, there are transcendent moments of deep tranquillity. For most of their lives their inner and outer ambitions are strong and in balance. But eventually, at moments of rare joy, career ambitions pause, the ego rests, the stumbler looks out at a picnic or dinner or a valley and is overwhelmed by a feeling of limitless gratitude, and an acceptance of the fact that life has treated her much better than she deserves.”

3. Simple Tools for Remembering to Pray. Self-explanatory. I am easily distracted and need to implement some of these in my own life. (Phone alarms have not been very helpful for me in the past… need to work on that.)

4. 5 Tips for Pursuing Your Dream When You Can’t Pursue Your Dream…Yet: Haley Stewart is a blogger I read on the reg (I also like her podcast.) I really enjoyed her piece from last week full of wise and practical tips for keeping dreams alive when they are on the back burner. It connected with me and reminded me to be patient… I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up someday.

(In the words of a dear friend on the phone this weekend: “We could still potentially have three careers for more than a decade each before standard retirement age.” Plenty of time.)

5. On Being rebroadcast a couple great episodes of the show recently, including one of my favorite episodes: an interview with Fr. Greg Boyle. He’s the founder of Homeboy Industries in LA, providing people who were formerly incarcerated or in gangs with jobs and resources to heal themselves and their communities. He is awesome. They are awesome.

“Boy, if death is the worst thing that can happen to you, brace yourself because you will toppled, and the trick is not to be toppled.” – Fr. Greg Boyle

I also heard this episode, which was very intriguing and compelling. A constitutionally conservative, patriotic, merciful, and inclusive conversation about gay marriage and religious freedom navigates the intersection between compromise and integrity while holding to one’s values. It’s crazy to hear this level of discourse and good-faith discussion — I honestly have not heard it anywhere else. It’s empathetic from all sides and so smart. We are compelled to “take the other person seriously.” So many of us suffer from a hesitancy to really listen and engage on tough topics. I want to work on that.

bonus pick: There’s a new trailer for The Bachelorette season, and Grantland’s Lowbrow Highlights broke it down. Key takeaway: “Who would you vote for? Do you know that I think you are shallow if you picked Britt? Is there a single woman who would rather watch a Britt season than a Kaitlyn season?”

And linking up with 5Faves!

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6 thoughts on “cutting through the internet clutter

  1. There are so many good episodes of On Being! I love the ones with Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jaroslav Pelikan, Joe Carter, and Barbara Kingsolver.

    1. I haven’t listened to the Joe Carter one! (On board with the others 100%) My actual favorite is the Jean Vanier one, which I have managed to drop into the blog more than once… it’s just that good.

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