The Perfect Consumer

10:55 AM

It makes me sad how much this reflection rings true for me, on Thought Catalog. It also makes me want to fight! Nothing like this biting headline, "Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed" to get me going. But it's a thoughtful article about another person's experiences adjusting to and reflecting on the norm here.

"Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work."

That sounds a lot like me:

  • scarce free time (and using money to substitute for time)
  • paying more for convenience (flying instead of taking the megabus, buying lunches because I forgot to make enough for the week, drive instead of bike to save time, etc)
  • spending money for quick entertainment (rather than spending time to do more rewarding things)
  • paying to go out to eat with friends rather than being able to put in the extra time and effort to prepare and host
  • sometimes I'm just tired and want to watch a movie or favorite show
I do relate to this yet thankfully, I am not the perfect consumer described later on! Not yet, and I'm thankful for the clarity and commitment embedded in both Tory and I to fight to never become it.

"The perfect customer is dissatisfied but hopeful, uninterested in serious personal development, highly habituated to the television, working full-time, earning a fair amount, indulging during their free time, and somehow just getting by."

I am dissatisfied but hopeful, obsessively interested in serious personal development, occasionally watch Netflix or shows online (but manage to avoid the commercials), working full-time, earning a fair amount, indulging in hobbies during my free time, and somehow just getting by. The house isn't clean, healthy meals don't always happen, and the balance is definitely off.

Lately I've been trying to practice gratefulness though and also attempt to make my current unbalanced situation as balanced as I can with the time I do have. So I made a really dorky chart. 

Rachel's Idealized Priorities 

sleep inget up:7:45amget up:7:30amget up:7:45amget up: 7:45amget up: 7:30amsleep in
morning reflection timewear something creativewear something creative wear something creative wear something creative wear something creative morning yoga
general picking up / cleaningmake a smoothie or eat breakfastmake a smoothie or eat breakfastmake a smoothie or eat breakfastmake a smoothie or eat breakfastmake a smoothie or eat breakfastFarmers Market before 1pm
water the plantsworkbike to workworkgeneral picking up / cleaningbike to workclean and refresh the house
wear something creativegeneral picking up / cleaningworkgeneral picking up / cleaningworkwork until 1pmwater the plants
see Tory's familypersonal hobbiesgeneral picking up / cleaninghang out with girl friendswater the plantsvaccuumsweep
Solomon's Porchreflection/devotion timewater the plantstalk to my familysweepclean the bathroomactivities together
prepare/freeze lunchesPM YogavaccuumPM Yogadate night / friends overwatch one showsee good friends
make our own breadtake supplementssweeptake supplementstake supplementspersonal hobbiestake supplements
take supplementsbedtime: 11pmwatch shows/moviesbedtime: 11:30pmbedtime: 11pma small adventure or activity
bedtime: 11:30pmbedtime: 11:30pmtake supplements

So the idea here is to block out what my life would actually look like if I made time for all my main priorities and necessities. There are a lot of things missing (like general chores and meals that need to fit in as well but I have separate charts for that). I feel like I don't have time to live a balanced life where I get done all the things I'd like, but at least in part it's also a problem with priorities. So in an attempt to find contentment within my current situation even if it is more challenging, I'm trying to get close to this idealized schedule each week for a while to see if it results in feeling more balanced, or just more stressed.

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  1. Love your chart :) It made me laugh when I read "small adventure or activity"... good thing you put SMALL in there or else Tory (like Ryan) would turn it into a much more intense adventure than you were hoping for!


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