Is Your Life Like A Can Of Fluff?

Allison Nazarian Real Life, Whatever

Some nights, as I look back over the day I have just lived,  I think to myself, “That happened this morning? That seems like a million years ago!”

The amount of communications we engage in, To-Dos we cross off, stuff we buy and consume, thoughts we entertain, more thoughts that pass us by and breaths we take in a day is, when you really stop to think about it, staggering.

The staggering is due to the sheer volume, the sheer amount of stuff and things that define us and contain us and follow us. It is a lot. The text messages, phone calls,  mail, bills, work, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, showers, getting dresseds, getting undresseds, dreaming, hoping, doubting, believing — a lot.

But what about the quality of that stuff, of those things? What of it is real and needed and necessary….and what of it is pure fluff? Nothingness? Meaningless? Crap? Sickly sweet but not at all nourishing? 

The truth is, all of us — each and every one of us — cloaks ourselves and our lives in fluff. Some more, some less. I can’t answer your “how much of it is fluff?” question just as you can’t answer mine.

I don’t know why you have the amount of fluff that you do – -maybe you are hiding, still pretending, scared, biding time, unsure, confused, messed up or in denial. Or, maybe all of the above.

What if you were to pare down your life to that which matters the most, that which is most “mission-critical,” that which reflects the keenest possible clarity about who you are and how you want to live?

Sounds great. Sounds hard as hell, too. Fluff is easy. Fluff is familiar. Fluff is sweet and, like its marshmallow namesake, probably too sweet. Gooey. Easily regrettable despite a moment or two of enjoyment. The opposite of fluff — takes discipline, consistency, saying “no” where you once said “yes,” and “yes” where you once said “no.”

I could easily give you a step-by-step plan for kicking fluff to the curb. But this is not an advice column. Instead, I point out and use my own life — which, yes, also has fluff — as an example.

So take a look at your To-Do list or your phone log or your e-mail Inbox or your calendar plans for the next week or two:

Are you spending the precious time of your life engaged in activities and thoughts that reflect what you want and who you are at your core?

Or are you filling yourself up with a whole lot of nothingness?

That stuff that you really love to do, that you dream of doing more: Why is fluff trumping it?

What have tos, shoulds, feel guilty abouts and don’t-really-want-to-dos are swallowing up your time, your energy?

Are you putting out the fluff they expect you to put out?

When did fluff overtake what you really want?

Are you consistent about the non-fluff that really matters?

Are you putting fluff ahead of what is real and realistic?

Is a life of fluff what you signed up for?

What’s next?