I have a folder in my feed reader that is specifically for the feeds that annoy me, so I don’t have to look at them unless I have the energy to be angry.
Why do I have this folder? Why am I even following blogs that I know will annoy the crap out of me? This must mean it’s time for the Influences portion of the KonMari.
As soon as I started in on it, I realized I probably should have done this first. I’ve done digital purges several times before, and this is much less fraught than sorting through tools or altar pieces. There’s still some angst there, as I let go of blogs that haven’t been updated in over a year or that I feel like I would keep up with if I was a better magician.
There is the idea of the lifestyle blog, all about being a better $X. There is a tendency to read these blogs aspirationally – instead of doing the things on those blogs, it’s so much easier to just read them and dream about doing them. I know this kind of blog well; I know six different recipes for making your own detergent and have never tried a one of them.
I did finally succeed in using those candle-making instructions the other night, but that’s neither here nor there.
The point is that I tend to get into a new kind of blog, or a new “wing” of an old kind of blog, and subscribe to ten different blogs (or worse, Facebook groups) in the same genre and then they all sit there until I get overwhelmed and delete them all. I plan to do ALL THE THINGS and then I get overwhelmed and fail to do any of the things. I’m not sure how to fix this problem in the long run, but for the moment, anyway, I can fix what’s in front of me.
I took great pleasure in unsubscribing from that minimalism blog that always annoys me, from that spiritwork blog that always seems to be talking down, from that magic blog that’s not a system I’m never likely to put any time into. There’s nothing wrong with being interested in a wide variety of topics, that’s a good thing to a point. Unfortunately, I can only focus on so much at once, so I need to improve the signal to noise ratio.
Along the way, I whittled my subscription list down enough that I’m switching back to receiving all of my blogs by email. I’m not sure what it is about feed readers, but no matter what I use, I seem to forget to check it. Rather than remember once a week and get annoyed at myself for forgetting, I’m just going to send them to my email, where I can read them in the moment or tell them to come back later. I’ve switched to and from this system more than once, and it definitely works best when I keep the number of blogs I’m reading under control.
I need to hone my ability to judge whether something is bringing me joy in the moment – not necessarily whether this particular post makes me happy, but whether the last two or three have made me happy, whether I sigh inwardly when a certain blog shows up in my feed, what I look forward to and what I delete unread. Rather than let everything pile up, I need to be more aware of my own happiness in the moment and more responsive to my own state of mind. I’m hoping that keeping my feeds in my mailbox will do that for me going forward.
To a certain extent this will be an ongoing trickle of a process going forward – I can clear out my feed reader or my FB groups, but there’s always a stream of newsletters, liked pages and other influences that spill in front of me. The ongoing work is to keep that mindfulness about what brings me joy and what I need to get out of my life, one status update at a time.