Thursday, February 23, 2012

Freedom from things that don't matter

There are things in life that aren't bad things but are just things that can start to consume time and bog you down. They aren't important things, but for whatever reason they start to take time and attention from important things. And it's silly.
In my life, those things today were facebook and blogs. I like facebook. I like keeping up with friends, looking at friends pictures, easy access to the goings on in people's lives. But I would spent a lot of time reading stuff on face book that I didn't care about from people I hadn't talked to in years, and probably would never again have a face-to-face conversation with. And I thought-- this is silly. My time is more valuable than this.
I had 223 'friends' on my list. Wow. You'd think with so many friends I would have a busy and fulfilling social life! Yeah... not so much.
Before you shut down here, I am not on a 'facebook is bad' or even 'give up facebook for lent' kind of rant here. I mean, if you are into that kind of thing, go for it. But as previously stated-- I like facebook for a lot of reasons. But that 223 was starting to irritate me. I started deleting people... at first I almost felt guilty. But lord knows why! I didn't owe those people anything, and it is not as if they were investing in my life. The further I went the easier it got. I started asking myself-- have I had a conversation with this person in the past 6 months? Do I want to or intend to have a conversation with them in the next six months? Does this person post content that is interesting or relevant to my life?
Unfriend, unfriend, unfriend.
And without really being incredibly brutal in my cuts the list was quickly narrowed to 145. So I have 145 'friends' on facebook. Which is still a tad out of hand, but I have less than half the content coming through my 'feed' now. Less time wasted wading through stuff I don't care about to get to the few nuggets of info from people I do care about.
And it felt freeing.
So I turned to my blog list. Like facebook-- I like blogging. I read many blogs on lots of different content from lots of different authors. Some personal friends, some acquaintances, some just interesting content I found while surfing the web or looking for specific things. But listen, I had 86 blogs in my blog feed. 86! I looked at that 86 and saw time I could be spending running, rather than reading the running blog. Making dinner, rather than reading recipes my husband would never eat. Spending time with Sam, instead of feeling guilty for not being the 'super-mom' like that lady on that blog there...
Is this content interesting? Helpful? Relevant? Worth the time I am giving it?
Delete, delete, delete.
And... I cut the number of blogs I follow in half. I like blogs. I like a lot of the authors of blogs I read. But now I spend less time sifting through things I don't care as much about to get to the things, topics, authors, content I do care about. And that felt freeing too.
Freed up my time and freed up my brain to think about things I care about...
And what do you know one of those things is starting to fuss to let me know naptime (and therefore mommy's blog time) is over. Looking forward to a free afternoon with the boy. We're gonna go for a walk... do some laundry... bake banana bread...
It's gonna be great.


Derin Beechner (Durk Niblick) said...

What a fantastic post! I had been deciding to do the same things, not only with facebook and blogs, but also with emails subscriptions, notifications, as well as organizations I was involved with. Now I am able to focus more on my relationship with Minnie and being a better father to my 4 boys! And indeed it is freeing.

thepianist86 said...

supermom!! (yours is that blog for me =)
also, i had to go check facebook...making sure i made the cut. YAAY! I DID!!

Valerie said...

Thanks, TK, You are sweet.
Of course you made the cut... hey, I even occasionally talk to you! So you are in the elite group... :)