Is too much convenience inconvenient?

I have a car. I work mostly from home. I have satellite television which even allows me to watch Russian channels from the UK. I have access to fast broadband and, generally speaking, my life has lately become very well organised, at least from the convenience point of view. And yet as I feel more and more flexible in how I live my life, I also become more and more limited. I have a choice of when and where to shop. I don’t have to make any specific arrangements for transport, other than find an hour when it suits me to jump into the car and go to the store. Convenient? Or isolating? How about the fact that over the last couple of years I have gotten used to avoiding driving into the city centre because I don’t want to pay extortionate amounts for parking, which has meant that I just have not bothered to go into Manchester at all!

Of course, this is all a choice. Watching TV at night when I could be writing, or sleeping, is my choice. And driving the car to go to the gym when I live next door to the largest municipal park in Europe is also my choice. But I wonder how I got to this point, where it takes something drastic like my car needing repairs for me to realise that I have been limiting myself, and my life. And that’s the thing about all the wonderfully convenient things that we now have: we have to learn to control how much access we give these things in our life. If we watch TV and that replaces us experiencing things for ourselves – that’s too much access. When we drive the car instead of walking with our kids to school and miss out on watching them go on their bike or scooter faster than the day before – that’s too much access. When I don’t exercise on the days that my husband has the car – that’s too much control.

For a creative person, this is almost creative death. I have not been feeding my funnel and now it’s running out of  material because I have locked myself into this very convenient situation. So I am going to take action. I will only use my car when I have to, and to make that easier I might even choose to not have a car for a few months. I will watch all my favourite TV shows in one go, probably at the weekend when I want to vegetate. Knowing me, I’d probably lose interest pretty quickly anyway and go off TV completely – it has happened before!

But the most important thing is that I will consciously get myself out there, into the currently very wet world, and start filling my funnel with random rencontres, observations and, mainly, people, because let’s face it, what is art without people?

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Author: Maia Nikitina

Writer, reviewer, blogger.

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