Read Reduction

Used to be I had a reading pile. A to-be-read stack of whole magazines or just torn pages, books I picked up for free, printed online articles I didn’t have time to sit down and devote to immediately and knew I’d never find them again. Links can die, you know. Especially after a few years.

Well, I stopped all that physical periodical hoarding. Inspired by an accidental find years ago. 2014; while perusing positive topics for what used to be an email and US Mail based Midweek Encouragement Newsletter. ME News existed in an era otherwise known as ‘pre-blog.’

In the basest form of self-trickery for knowledge seekers, I canceled nearly all of the clutter subscriptions that lead to clutter. Nearly.

Costco and AAA send me monthly periodicals whether I want them or not. I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer monthly rag. I could stop them simply, but then, how would I know where all the good stuff is happening in Michigan, or discover why a certain product is better than another? Without endless key-word internet surfing for hours, I mean.

Plus, I’d also lose out on letters and phrases. Grade school, I’ve always loved collage. Went through an interesting and a bit obsessive, huge, collage cut-and-paste phase in college. Began as sorority-sister aimed birthday cards on budget. Ala kindergartener-ish: find a pretty picture, add some happy, descriptive 1500 level words and voila!

I also went through a band-love phase where I would use every print version of the band name I could find and pauperize it into wall hanging. I had a double 8”x14” pair-themed set of Duran Duran fonts proudly displayed in my first dorm room. Hmm. Who am I kidding?

So, maybe both of those things weren’t phases. I’m obviously still in a band-loving stage. And, I still cut out words and phrases. Anyway, the point is, now even just those three founts of info tend to heap on my coffee table. Not a real problem. I break them down, take what I need as I read through, recycle the bulk and end up with smaller piles.

My digital stash is overwhelming, though. I leave large articles unread until I have the time. I gold-star articles that may be of use in the future. I subscribe to a few special interest daily/weekly emails for things I am truly interested in. I’d really like to engage with these lurking lessons. I’m really a little stressed out that I will never catch up and, yet, I continue to pull and hold.

826, 180, 11, 109 emails awaiting my attention. Some are new. About 600 are marked for future, do not delete articles, updates, initiatives. Surprisingly the 826 is not my junk box. It also dates from 2010 forward. Pictures, scratch writing, thoughts – these aren’t a concern to me. I’ll get to them. When? Well, when I do.

There’s def a need to tackle. Do I start with one source and read straight through? Oldest to newest in unrelated order? Sort and scour by topic? By informative value or creative enjoyment? Ugh.

This all sounds way too much like a lot of pre-work to manage my actual desire.

The Minimalists, Podcast 286: Enoughism

Free-scape

So, here’s what happened.

I got a email. About gardening. In my very unknown, incoming-only, address.

It’s another account I keep to keep clutter from my real email.

You know, the one that people I actually know have and where the important stuff goes.

Anyway, the beauty of this junk box is that it fills up nicely with coupons and offers and a lotta ‘free.’ I love freebies. Even if I don’t need it, or won’t use it, if it’s free – I snag it and pass it along.

Samples are a great way to experiment, especially for less money. It’s a win-win. For me, experimenting for less is a happy mind expansion thing. Plus, deals and coupons save me money on stuff I know I’m going to buy, anyway. Same sort of mindset as Fetch and Ibotta. I just love layering.

I get a few newsy-type dailies that let me know when and where to find good stuff. I was particularly excited to learn Lowe’s was having a series of garden give-aways. Hypocritical, I know considering how hard I take the ‘annual that which I despise’ obligation.

I shared this with my gardening friend who had already heard about and tried to get into it.

Registration for the first event opened at midnight and her experience was that the site was overloaded and she didn’t get anywhere.

That was a bummer to hear. I’m not that driven to stay up until midnight battling it out with other batty internet users. Strangely, enough, though…

By the time I’d finished my weekly blog, sent it out into the social-universes of FB me, FB Knabble, WordPress, IG and Twitter it was 11:20 PM. I still thought it might be a little over the top to be hovering over my keyboard for 40 more minutes.

I puttered around prepping for the next-day work-day by re-filing blog fodder, and just generally straightening and restoring my desk back to the ‘real job’ configuration. At 11:47 the idea was still free-floating around in my head. I still had a bit of time on my non-gardening, don’t-like-to-get-too-dirty hands.

I turned up Spotify and tuned into Grandson. It’s not the kind of music you can tune-out to. Hence, the love. The first time I heard Grandson was through an IG video reaction site; totally recommend a follow. Besides the music/reaction, dude’s got an oddly sense of humor. (Links’ll be below.)

11:58, I thought I’d just try and slip into the site. Get queued up. No dice. Just a bit of a reprimand that it wasn’t time, yet.

So, I outed. Then, I inned. And outed and inned. Mmm hmm. Turned into an online version of the day after Christmas at Wal*mart at 4:00 AM in Tennessee. That’s a story by itself. Never again, folks. Never, again. Although, I did end up at a Michigan Kohl’s one black Friday. 5:00 AM. Easy in, easy find. Horrible two and a half hours of standing in line to check out. Never, again, to that, too. At least Kohl’s, handed out candy canes.

Stroke of midnight at Lowe’s online, I got it right! I got right in.

But, of course, it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Quote for the Week:

Grandson: (do you have enough love in your heart to go and get your hands) Dirty

Recommended reactionary: @fablefil

The Wrong Way (Cannoli Lesson Learned)

I’ve believed whole-heartedly that there is always a right way and a wrong way to do things.

I’ve also spent hours considering if that could even possibly be the case anymore, anywhere in this world.

If the right way is discipline, the wrong way must be the lack of.

And it’s all terribly subjective. And I do mean terribly.

There are countless mystified moments I marvel at the number of people whom must have agreed that something was a good idea way before it became a viable consumable.

My latest mind-thumper was an ice-cream error. That’s the nicest way I can think of wording it.

The bottom line is this: Ben & Jerry’s Cannoli ice cream tastes nothing like any East Coast, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts cannoli that I’ve ever had. Even the weird Tennessee ones, were better than the medley pint of unidentifiable uncertainty purchased.

I couldn’t figure it out.

I’ll give it ‘creamy.’ I’ll also award it nearly flavorless, maybe a bit of vanilla once in a while and I can’t confirm cannoli shells or shards or chips. Remember the old chocolate lined Nutty-Buddy cones? That summer convenience store single serve frozen flavor comes close.

Why is this my direction tonight? Honestly, because I didn’t want to.

Once a week shouldn’t feel so hard. Still, some days, it does. Today was one of those days. Long and…. long.

However seemingly self-righteous, the right way to proceed is for me to honor consistency. Remain proud. Be disciplined, if only for the reminder next week that I own nearly 13 steadily maintained years of written history. There’s an innately pre-determined pressure to reward myself with internalized-bragging rights overrides almost every objection I’ve ever come up with.

But, anyway. The reward tonight is not cannoli ice cream. Because, I persistently plowed through that in three servings last weekend, each separate scoop no more definable than other. I wanted to believe it would taste better each time. I also wanted to believe it would make me feel better; physically, mentally. Which is how I came back to what I always come back to: my version of reward-driven ego isn’t usually healthy. It’s more likely damaging, which is a psychological exploration for another episode of “Not Wanting to This Week.”

The thawing end-note for my Tuesday evening melt is that I did it.

Plus, I get to offer this sweet nicety:

Ben & Jerry’s Chip Happens lives up to its ambitious description. The Crunchy Potato Chip Swirls are indeed crunchy. Brand confidence restored.

Cannoli Lesson Learned: Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby. Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.

Quote for the Week:

Don’t Panic. But, …

 

There are days when *snorts* are needed.

The internet and all my friends seem to know this. We’re not  ‘not taking this seriously.’ We’re after comic relief and connection: witty, realistic – poking fun at ourselves and silently affirming “For now, I am OK.’

Tonight, I’m just distracted. Waiting to see how this all goes, along with everybody else.

I don’t know more; I don’t know less. I’m doing my best to learn what I can. Working for a healthcare organization has been informative. Watching a pandemic plan become reality is both terrifying and fascinating.

The last time I spent any time in public setting with strangers milling around was March 7th. Not that it means anything concrete, just feeling a little more on the positive side about staying negative.

As far as being alone, I’m ok with that.

I’ve been social distancing for years. That’s what introverts do. Especially, widowed ones. I joked the other night that I’ve been preparing for this for most of my life.

My comfort with the possibility of quarantine is unusual. I was sort of stunned reading an article that advised if you were alone – quarantined in any way – and unable to emotionally handle no human contact – online therapists are available for social distancing counsel by phone, video or chat.

What struck me about it, was that up until now, we’ve been told we are physically becoming a no-contact nation. The fact that folks are obtaining virtual ‘contact’ readily at an instant’s notice disturbed some. We’re available to each other 24/7 by phone, email, Skype, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so many newer options. Unless, you choose not to be, of course.

Except for that brief interlude with Jeff, spending time alone is norm. I was single for way longer than I was married, and am single once again. Just a fact that colors my view a little brighter. I won’t be blinded by the light of being alone in a temporary life of murky pastels that people are so afraid of.

There’s so much good happening online.

Metropolitan Opera, Zoos, Musicians, Actors (capitalized for a reason) are offering capital distraction; excellent capital. Good things – reading books, giving virtual tours, playing music for free when normally they’d be selling out venues. I’ve seen more photos of families playing games then… ever.

I’m trying not to breathe while using hand sanitizer – it makes me cough. I’ve eaten lunch with the same few people I have been for years – and yes, we sat at one table – and no, we were not 6 feet away. I stopped in someone’s office this morning, realized I was too close, and backed out with apology. The conversation continued a moment, but the lack of privacy with me standing in the hall, cut our interaction short.

So. That’s my longer than usual ramble., for now

As seen in video (not sure if it was FB or IG) I hope I’m quoting correctly or at least paraphrasing well.

“Don’t Panic. But don’t be an idiot, either.” Billie Eilish

Quote for the Week: 2020 03 17 what seems reasonable to you, may not jakorte

 

 

a skosh over…

So, I got to thinking…

Shocking, I know.

I had already determined that I have been blogging “A Year of Memories,” for more than a year.

I was curious, though, to figure out exactly how long it’s taken me to get to the part that started it all; the reason.

Not counting previous mentions of memories in the multiple runs prior to “A Year,” I’ve discovered it’s been way longer than I thought.

Shocking, also: my first post under this categorical title, was published…

September 29, 2015. At 9:08 PM, to be exact.

 

I didn’t know I had so many stories to tell. Short ones, long ones.

Funny, sweet, philosophical, melancholic.

182, in my unofficial skim. Mathematically, a skosh over 3.5 years.

Unbelievably, I have so many more.

Believably, I’ve nicely managed to keep putting off the inevitable.

 

There are going to be tears. There will need to be hindsight – without self-blame.

There will be horrific truths and horrifically funny, sometimes inappropriate, recall.

 

There will also be love.

Between every word. Within every line.

After the laughing. After the crying.

 

Stick with me. Stick with us. Stick with it.

I promise: we’ll get back to laughing, again.

 

Quote for the Week:

2019 04 09 for every tear a joy jakorte