Similarly, there are amazing movies being made right now. If last night's Oscars showed anything (besides poor Jennifer Lawrence tripping AGAIN), it's that every year, more and more powerful, moving, thought-provoking films--starring incredible artists--are being created. There's a lot of good stuff out there.
Then, we turn to books. Everyone is talking about The Goldfinch, Wild, The Husband's Secret. I still haven't picked up Lean In or The Power of Habit (both of which I've heard are worth a read), and my "To Read" list is growing longer by the day.
And what about amazing new music? Hilarious YouTube videos? Incredible articles from The New York Times? New podcasts? TED Talks? Blog posts? BuzzFeed quizzes? Facebook updates? Tweets? Pics on Instagram and Pinterest?
All of this amazingness is stressing me out. I love it, but I'm feeling overwhelmed.
I'm someone who likes to be in the know. Ben laughs at me because he says he can tell how much I hate it when people are discussing a show that I haven't seen, a book I haven't read, or a person I haven't heard of. He says he can see the strain in my face as I try to join in, but just can't. He thinks it's hilarious and I think it's painful.
But really, I do like to be a part of the cultural conversation! I find internet memes hysterical, I love reading about new medical studies, I love looking at cute pictures of baby animals, I love learning, I love being entertained. I like the art of it, the creativity of it, the intellectual side of it, and yes, the silly side of it.
However, as I've gotten older and busier, as I watch less TV (we don't have cable anymore--only AppleTV), as I fall asleep after reading only a few pages every night, I've started feeling more and more anxiety about being so behind when it comes to popular culture--about "missing out."
I want to see all of the TV shows, but there are SO many good ones, so many seasons, so many episodes! I want to see all of the Oscar-nominated movies, but I only have two weekend nights every week (and who has time to watch a movie on a Tuesday night?). I want to read The Goldfinch, but my Kindle is dead, I can't find the charger, and I don't know how to buy actual books anymore!
Yes, I realize that I'm talking about total #firstworldproblems, but I think there's something deeper here, and it comes back to many of the things that we work with in our yoga practice.
We're too inundated. We're over-entertained. As everyone is discussing in various articles (some that I've read, some that I haven't), we've got too many devices, too many distractions, too many social media accounts. I LITERALLY cannot remember the last time I was bored (in 7th grade, perhaps?)--can you? And I hear it's changing how our brains are wired, how our bodies are structured, and that it could possibly change how our faces look, if we don't learn to back off.
So yes, I believe that too much of a good thing--good TV, good movies, good books, good articles--can lead to too much stimulation, and to too much anxiety about that stimulation.
We need more space, more stillness, more silence. I want to be okay with Ben watching 'House of Cards' without me (which he did when I was gone one weekend, and which I've obviously let go...), because I want to be someone who can handle not being "in the know" about that one show. I want to value living and being more than all of that other stuff.
I'm getting there, but I'm not there yet.
Do you feel the same way? Is popular culture bringing you both joy + stress? How can you take a baby step back?
And what do you think of this season of 'Girls?' Are you enjoying 'True Detective?'
See, there I go again...