I Know Too Much

7 07 2012

I know too much.

And I have too much.


What I don’t know, I can find out.

What I don’t have, I can save for and buy.


I like to learn new things.

I like to buy new things.


What I could know used to be limited by my personal and local library and newspapers.

What I could buy used to be limited by local stores and the Sears catalog.

Now both are as unlimited as the Internet and as vast as Google’s search tentacles.

I have more new books (thank-you Amazon!) than I can possibly read this year; and more decisions on what to buy when I have extra cash (thank-you wishlist-enabled vendors!) than I care to evaluate.

I know too much; I have too much; and I shiver in my flip flops, for “to whom much is given, much is required”.

The Internet is only partly to blame (if guilt needs to be assigned).  A stack of conference notes and booklets begs to be reviewed and summarized.  Books I’ve finished recently wait their turns to be skimmed one last time (especially the underlined sections) before shelving.  Seminar CD sirens call to me through a growing layer of dust, hoping to wreck my urgent to-do list resolve on the jagged rocks of taking a listening break.

I don’t think I’m alone in my over-saturated paralysis.  But I may be a product of my pre-Internet generation.

I’ve noticed that my younger friends who grew up on computers and cell phones aren’t bothered by not being able to weigh all the options.  They don’t miss the daily paper (because they never had one to read) but get their news piecemeal from blogs and Internet news digests.  They look until they find an answer (sometimes verifying their findings with a supporting source) and move on.  They take what they need and leave the rest.  And there is a LOT of “the rest”.

My brain cries out for rest.  My soul longs for it.  How much more do I need to know?  Especially since I don’t have time to act on everything I know.  Just getting “do unto others as you would have them do to you” keeps me busy.

So why do I need to know more?

To be kind to myself, New is fun and energizing.  But the rate of New coming at me is morphing fun into high walls— killing fun and keeping real life out.  Ignoring email and Facebook for a day floods my inboxes that have become unmanageable with 100’s of messages as I write this.

I really don’t need more.  More has become paralyzing.  I need order—or at least a survival plan!

I have been looking for a plan this year.  My One Word is simplicity.

THAT is something I need more of!


How about you?  Do you struggle with this?  Have you discovered strategies or coping skills?

One that I have been trying out is acting on what I know instead of consuming more info.  More about that next time.



14 07 2009

“He is NOT going to pull out into BOTH lanes of traffic,” I hoped out loud as I took my foot off the accelerator.  Yep.  He did.

It was all over before my head could take it in.  I had to rewind the video in my mind to make sense of what had just happened.  Pumping wildly, my heart increased the amount of blood to my brain, which helped me remember.

I had been driving downtown for a meeting and decided to take a more direct route instead of the interstate.  Looking at interesting houses and driving through neighborhoods make the trip more enjoyable.  So I was on a four-lane, 45 mph artery driving in the left lane when a sedan pulled out into the right lane causing the SUV ahead of me in that lane to stop.  I slowed, wondering what might happen next, when the sedan’s headlights pulled into my lane right in front of me.

There was oncoming traffic to my left and no time to hit the brakes or lay on the horn.  As the video in my mind played, I let out a hoot!  Just like in the movies, I had deftly steered my way through the obstacle course, tires squealing, at 40 miles per hour– in what now seemed like slow motion!!

My reaction had been automatic—coming from the part of my brain that doesn’t have to think about what to do; it just took over.  Not waiting for explanation or reason, it saw what I needed to do and made it happen before I could have a conscious thought or make a plan.  My survival instinct must have been steering, because I don’t have any experience dodging cars—except for bumper cars at the fair!  🙂

Thinking about what happened last night has made me a little philosophical this morning.  I’m asking myself some questions:

What are my gut reactions, especially in relationships?

Do I default to self-preservation or the other person’s best interest?

Is there a way to modify my default settings from self-interest to others-interest?

What do you think?  I’d really like to know.

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