Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Consume or Create

Last week we asked the question, where does our time go?

We took on the mini homework assignment to pay attention to our day. There were no charts to fill out or numbers to calculate, just some effort to notice the overall patterns of how we spend our day.

Yesterday, we sat down together and Ethan and Reese took turns describing a typical weekday. We covered the basics of eating, school time, homework, chores, video games, and sleep.

All fine, typical responses.

I then asked them to think about their days, again, but in the context of one question.

Did you spend most of your time consuming or creating?

Consuming was the overwhelming answer but it wasn't surprising. To be fair, all of us were guilty of consuming more than we created in a typical day.

I then talked to them about what if felt like to consume vs. create.

Consuming was hard to explain. Whether they were consuming a meal or watching a favorite youtube video, there was no big defining emotion. They were doing something they enjoyed but it was also something they didn't think about like a routine or habit. 

Creating was a different story. Ethan talked about making some of his own meals recently after taking a cooking class last semester. Over the weekend he made pizza English muffins. He talked about how satisfying and good it felt to eat something that he knew he had made all by himself. Reese identified with that same satisfaction and good feeling when she described some original My Little Pony designs she had been making for her classmates. There was a pride and pleasure in the time spent with these creative moments.

The big reveal, Creativity energizes you. (It's one of the big reasons I choose to write.) Consumption that's mindless or excessive provides short term satisfaction but ultimately drains you in the long run.

So, let's see if we can we turn things around - CREATE MORE, CONSUME LESS - take a consume moment and make it into a create moment.

Instead of just watching videos on youtube - Ethan and Reese - make your own video to share.

Instead of making the same old thing for dinner or snack, let's look for some new recipes to try out.

Instead of everyone on their respective devices, let's do something as a family, together.

Create more, consume less, that will be our "wise" guide for the remainder of this month's rule -  Waste Your Time, Wisely.

What can you create today?

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