List-less Bliss; Discovering Analog Treasures

I’ve been making some radical changes lately.

And the shifts that are occurring have been eye-opening, fun, and exciting.

Plus they’re leading to a much deeper sense of peacefulness.

Foundationally, they all start with God and what He seems to be up to in my life.

List-less Bliss

Last week, I wrote a post for my blog that described how I started the new year with a plan to study the Bible more deliberately.

And I suspected that the result of doing so would lead to a deepening of my relationship with God.

After all, how can a person spend extended time in prayerful exposure to the Word of God and not be changed by that?

Since God seems to be calling me to some radical changes, I believe that’s exactly what’s happening.

The first and really significant change was what I described in the post about His directive to let go of my lists.

That was a big deal since I love to plan and I love order.

But what I’ve been realizing is how much my need for both can get in the way of what God may have planned for me, instead.

And when I rely on my lists, I don’t necessarily feel the need to listen as closely for the Holy Spirit’s guidance about whatever I need to do next.

So, one radical change is that I’ve been embracing list-less bliss—a peaceful state in which I no longer feel behind and overwhelmed because there’s no list of un-done tasks accusing me of not being productive or efficient enough.

Instead, I’ve been completing one task at a time.

Then I stop and pray and ask God what He wants me to do next.

Which is what I then do next.

Which also means that I’m spending a lot more time in prayer—and feeling peaceful about the fact that my efforts and focus are aligned with God’s purposes, instead of mine.

Discovering Analog Treasures

In last week’s newsletter, I wrote about my frustrations with the intrusion of technology and the power that Big Tech seems to hold over our lives.

As a result, I said that when my smartphone needs to be replaced, I’d consider returning to a flip phone, instead.

The thought of doing so led me to an evaluation over the past week of all the things I rely on my smartphone to do.

And I realized that while some things will take some planning and potential expense to replace, others I can discard right now—which I’ve done.

The good thing about being a Boomer is that—unlike the digital natives who are younger than us—we know how to live an analog life.

It’s just that we’ve been swept up in the convenience and efficiencies of technology just like everyone else.

Although there may be a good reason to not give up various tech tools—since many offer considerable benefits—I think it’s a good thing to hang on to some of that analog knowledge and ability to apply it, if needed.

One of the ways I’ve done that this week is by addressing my need for music.

I have music on my phone and have been accustomed to popping in my earbuds to listen to it for exercise while dancing and using the spin bike.

However, I realized that I don’t need to depend on that to provide a beat and lift my spirits as I work up a sweat.

Instead, I pulled out the portable CD/cassette/radio we have that belonged to my mom and dad.

Then I started exploring our collection of compact discs (aka, CDs for anyone reading this who’s young enough to be puzzled about now).

Between our collections and that of my parents, I couldn’t tell you how many CDs Dave and I own.

Or how long it’s been since I listened to any of them.

But this week, I started digging through them, which means our home has been filled with treasures from various Christian artists, Mozart, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, and more.

That has included my exercise time each morning.

Since it’s been relatively cold (yeah, I know, if you live in the North, you would disagree), I’ve been dance-exercising inside first, and then going outside to finish on the spin bike.

I’d planned to use Mom’s portable CD player when I left the indoor warmth, but even after Dave cleaned up the mess I’d made by leaving the batteries in for so many years, it still didn’t work.

So, I decided I’d spin without music and listen to the birds, instead.

But soon, I found myself trying to sing hymns while I pedaled, but I could only remember the first verses of most.

Which led me to all the music-on-paper we have stored in one of the tables in our den.

There, I pulled out my favorite hymnal and decided to sing from that, instead.

The result has been that I now sing (somewhat out of breath) while I spin (reading glasses propped on my nose since I’m that old) and savor the rich theology I’m re-discovering in each word.

This morning, it was Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

Luther penned the lyrics sometime between 1527 and 1529, and if you read each verse you’ll be powerfully reminded that the negative influence of culture has long been a problem—and that God is always in charge, no matter what.

Oh, and the timer I always used on my phone to keep track of my exercise time?

The egg timer of Mom’s that I’d already been using to track my writing time works perfectly.

I love this new way of doing things that helps me listen more closely for God, savor list-less bliss, and step into the fun of re-discovering treasures in the analog life.

And the journey has just begun!

How about you? I’ve love to hear if you have analog ways of doing things that you currently enjoy or want to re-discover.

Please sign up for my newsletter and let me know there!

This post is adapted from Sue’s Perspectives column in the latest edition of The Empowered Traveler™ Newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can do that here: Subscribe to Sue’s newsletter.

Sue Montgomery is a Christian writer/content creator who's also been a hospice nurse, family caregiver, health coach, and professional organizer. Now she's helping Baby Boomers like herself embrace the Boomer Continuum™ of agile caregiving, graceful aging, and peaceful dying—with Christian faith and simplicity to focus on what matters most.
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