Samantha recently posted this picture on FB from one of the YMCAs near her– it’s a cute veggie-bicycle graphic with an encouraging health message.
Now, I love vegetable-collaged images as much as the next person. Here’s another cute one:
Parenthetically, we should give due credit to the master of produce-collaged art, Giuseppe Archimboldo, whose famous Vertumnus is below:
But I come here not to praise vegetable art, but to crab about all this “more” talk. Yes, the good people of the YMCA mean well when they encourage us to do more of this and that. But we are always being told to do more of the things we are already doing.
I am moving some these days– not as much as I would like, but more than I did in the winter. And yes, I want to move even more. I’m trying, I’m trying!
As for living, I think I’m doing the same amount of that as I always have. “Living more” rubs me the wrong way, as if I’m not living enough now. Honestly, these days I’m doing absolutely as much living as I possibly can; trying to squeeze more living out of me is just going to make me start yelling. Hmmm, at least I will be doing “more” of something. This is starting to sound rather appealing.
It’s true– there are lots of folks out there rhapsodizing about the joys of less. But the stealth message they are sending is IF you do less of X, THEN you will get more of Y. Less isn’t good unless it’s tied to more in the end.
Even many of the mindfulness folks cannot keep their eyes off the prize– more productivity once you let go of [insert something here] and embrace [insert some other thing there]. Like the title of this blog post below:
The world (or rather, the world of self-help and self-improvement) can’t stand it when we just scale back and do less. Our doing less has to be in service of some payoff, like increased success through fake-o less-doing.
What’s my point here? My point is that I sometimes I just want less.
- less anxiety
- less work
- less self-judgment
- less time feeling cornered by life circumstances
- less sleeplessness
- less coping with the above through overeating, avoidance, etc.
- less shame about doing less when I want or need to
I’m not claiming that getting and doing less will create more of anything. Maybe it will, but we don’t always need it to. Sometimes we may just need it to be less. Period.
Readers– friends: what do you need or want less of? I’d like to know. I’m listening.