Back in the glory days of blogging (let’s say the late aughts or so, before social media and monetization took over), I lived and died by my RSS reader. Oh, Google Reader, how I still miss thee. It would collect all the blog posts in one place and I could read at my convenience. Yes, I could use Feedly, but it’s not the same; now I just sign up to have the blogs emailed to me. Not quite as fun but it works.
But, as is my habit with reading material, my eyes are bigger than my available time. I’d inevitably end up with 500+ unread blog posts and no time to read. (These days it’s podcasts; Overcast says I currently have 432 unheard episodes). So after a half-hearted attempt at catching up, I’d smack some sense into myself and just MAAR.
Mark All As Read.
I have a long and storied history with interests and responsibilities. I’ve compared my life to a buffet, leftovers falling out of the fridge, and cloaks puddling on the floor of a closet. So many interests, so little time. Story of my life: Jen, the Multipotentialite or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb or something like that. Flute, writing, homeschooling, advocacy, gardening, canning, flute repair, conducting, teaching, self-care coaching…the list goes on and on, to a worrying length. Lately I’ve had to actively ignore the little oooh!!! I sometimes hear in my heart and head when I discover something interesting I’d like to try. I’ll dash into the library to grab the book I have on hold and end up leaving with four others, maybe one fiction but the rest non-fiction books that caught my eye. I’ve read about bitters (you know, those tiny bottles of stuff you shake into cocktails to make them taste better), the history of homes (learned why the British fold toilet paper while Americans wad), and the convoluted history of America’s territories. The non-fiction shelf in my Goodreads is by far the heaviest.
With the advent of the internet it got worse. It’s far too easy for me to fall down the rabbit hole of interesting and reawaken much later to the fact that I haven’t started dinner and the wet laundry has caught a chill and would love it if I would just throw it in the dryer already (for my international friends, my homeowners association forbids us to hang laundry…plus we’re on a corner and I don’t think the entire neighborhood wants to see my granny panties). My current obsession is with bullet journals (blog post to come…eventually…much like all the other blog ideas I’ve had lately), but not the super fancy artsy ones. As much as I admire those, I’m a terrible artist. I’m all about function with form in a minimalist (yet colorful) style. And leather covers. And pens. Mmmmm….
I do come by it honestly, though. My dad is much like this. Growing up, the whole family benefitted from his passion for authentic Chinese cooking. There was a second gas stove in the unfinished basement and he’d prepare multi-course feasts pretty regularly. He’d just disable the basement smoke detector, open a window, and go to town. My mouth waters just thinking about it. I have the hot and sour soup recipe he developed and can’t wait until it gets chilly enough to make it. There was one family road trip where he read a book on marmalade, and shared more than a few tidbits. To this day we tease him about marmalade, and nothing tickled me more than when I made rhubarb marmalade several years ago and sent him some.
Tom and the boys are a lot more…reserved…when it comes to diving into interests like that. Tom is too busy, and the boys tend to fall down the video game rabbit holes a little more frequently than I like. That said, Andy has taught himself nearly everything he knows about programming and network administration and Jack is such a whiz with graphic design that a sticker he designed for an upcoming tech event will be given to every attendee. Apparently they’re getting something out of their rabbit holes.
But sometimes it’s all just too much.
I’m gradually going through areas of my life and roaring a ginormous MAAR at them. No, seriously, I’m roaring frustration from the depths of my soul. I’m thisclose to deleting everyone I follow on Twitter and starting fresh. Same with Facebook pages/groups, playlists in iTunes, the Goodreads TBR stash, and even my beloved podcasts. When I would MAAR blog posts, there’d be a momentary twinge of regret but then it’d be followed by a huge mental sigh of relief. It’s so much easier to enjoy those rabbit holes when they’re curated with intention.
I love tumbling down rabbit holes, I love learning what is out there. But hooboy, it is long past time for a reset.
Today’s post was part of GHF’s September blog hop on gifted people and rabbit holes. Trust me when I say the writers more than likely fell into one hole after another as they crafted their posts. Go check ’em out.