“You have a new bill. The school carnival is coming up. Your library books are overdue. 50% off two great deals. A note to parents. Fly from $79 one way. Your photos are on their way. Listserv digest. JSTOR daily. School announcement. ICYM. Blog post. Confirm auto billpay. You have a new bill. Kickoff meeting. University Press new release. You’ve been added as a member to the share site. Eye appointment reminder. Reply to your post. Friend in need. You have a new bill. Picture day tomorrow. Half marathon coming soon. Public radio needs you. Congress needs you. Please give money. You have a new bill. Halloween party needs planners.” —one of three inboxes
We all have detritus cluttering our lives. Floating bits of to-do and should-do and hurry-and-do that drift around in our vision and settle as a thick layer of dust on our counters. And books and beloved objects.
But not on our computers. Oh, no. Those get plenty of use.
I’d like a day, as would every single person I know, without emails to return, without lunches to make, without bills and crap and nonsense. I’d really like, as I’m willing to bet most people would, to focus on being my best self, engaging with my family, working hard on the things that make me valuable to society. And I’d love to do that without the flotsam and jetsam of crap that litters my to-do list.
So I delete the unnecessary emails and I unsubscribe from lists I swear I never joined.
And that eats 20 minutes of my day.
I feed the humans and felines in my house and I tidy and I ask them to help and we get the tactical stuff done.
And that eats hours of my day.
I think about the ways in which I can be an advocate and an ally, and I weigh the time or money I would need to contribute.
And I guiltily cut saving the world to 30 minutes of my day.
And I work on client deadlines and dream of a day when I can write my own stuff. I want to work on my book so badly it’s making me itch. But it will be at least a week before I have the time. Because I work for people who will pay me now for my writing.
And to that I willingly give hours of my day.
Transporting small people and navigating their conflicts and helping them learn to talk to each other kindly and reading and playing and cooking…they take up hours of my day. Good use of time. But hours nonetheless.
I don’t know why I keep coming back to this space, but I do. I’ve wanted to commit blogicide so often it’s become normal to think, “well, clearly I’ll never write there again, so do I delete the whole thing or just never go back?”
A flair for the dramatic, but also, I’m beginning to see, a perfectly normal state of being for bloggers.
I’ve had several long-term bloggers tell me that killing your blog and reinventing it is a moral imperative.
So I feel guilty for not writing here, and now also guilty for writing here, my blog 1.0?
I only know that I’m functionally incapable of life without a journal. And for more than six years, this has been my place.
So maybe I should kill the blog or reinvent the blog or abandon the blog or reinvigorate the blog.
But for now, I dash of a quick complaint about my inbox whining at me that it needs more from me. That it wants to be heard. That it needs a glass of water.
Grow up, inbox. I have other things to handle, and you can do it yourself.