Producing, consuming, and why both matter
I’ve been sicker than I’ve been in a long time this past week—and unfortunately, it’s during our tail end of France and our not-quite-enough-time in Italy, of all places. I’ve missed seeing some stuff, I’ve seen some beautiful early spring days transpire from my bedroom window, and Kyle, the dear thing, has spent much of his awake days as the hunter-gatherer of the family.
I also haven’t been working much, because my head throbs when I think beyond my basic survival skill tactics. My inbox is overflowing, I’ve had to cancel a few podcast recordings (I know, I miss it, too), and what started as a decent beginning to my book writing has been shelved for the time being. Even writing blog posts has been a challenge.
This one, for instance. I’ve had several post topics in queue, but they’ve just been a bit much to handle. Kyle tossed out a few ideas, but all of them have just been a bit…think-y for me right now.
So? I’m just resting.
Normally, if I have any downtime, I spend it reading—I’ve got a long nighstand list of books on my list, and well, they don’t read themselves. I’ve read around ten so far in 2015, so when I’m under the weather, it’s tempting to rest my body while keeping my mind active, plowing through the rest of my list.
But alas, reading has just been too much this past week. And so? I’ve been doing stuff like this:
• Listening to the audiobook of Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan.
• Listening to the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.
• Watching episodes of Gilmore Girls.
• Watching SpaceCamp (really).
• Watching my body weight in Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon clips.
Deep stuff, in other words. And you know what? It’s done my soul good. I don’t feel one ounce of guilt about vegging, letting my brain eat a bit of sweet, and letting laughter work its medicinal laughter on my body. I’ve needed lightheartedness in my life.
I find that we tend to be in one of two different phases in life: we’re either producers or consumers. There’s some blending of both, of course, but on the whole, we either lean towards producing for our world, or we lean towards consuming our world.
Every now and then I do both, but it’s not often. Most of the time, I produce. Whether it’s my work (blog posts, books), family provisions (meals, schooling, parental support), or generally being a good member of society (answering email, keeping up with friends, texting with extended family), I do an awful lot of producing. I rarely make time for consuming.
This has changed a bit since the start of this year, making more time for reading blogs I love and tackling aforementioned book list. But I don’t sprinkle it throughout my regular weekday as much as I like. I tend to be all (produce) or nothing (consume).
As I pull out of the plague and get back to my healthy ways this week, I’m actually looking forward to producing again—back at my book writing, friend corresponding, and general responsible adult-ing. But I want to enjoy a bit of consuming each day, too. All or nothing isn’t as enjoyable.
In fact, I’d argue that whatever I produce is typically better when I sprinkle a bit of good-for-me consuming on top. There’s evidence to back up our innate need for downtime—which means there’s zero need to feel guilty about enjoying it.
How about you—would you say you’re more in a season of consuming or producing right now? Do you prefer an all-or-nothing approach, or are you better than me at sprinkling in a bit of consuming in the midst of your producing?
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