Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Zooming Out



One of my favorite things in life is my audio subscription to The New Yorker. It gets delivered to the Audible App on my phone every Wednesday, and I relish the next long drive I take. Listening to it is so fun. I feel good about myself when I listen to it in its entirety. The articles are often long and cover their subject extensively. Sometimes, however, there's an article that I just can't get into so I skip to the next one.

My whole world opened up when I read Cheryl Richardson's book, The Art of Extreme Self Care. She lists "not finishing a book you're not interested in" as a part of self-care. Before becoming aware of Richardson's perspective, I often finished books just because I had started them; and to be honest, sometimes I still feel a little guilty when I skip ahead in my Audible New Yorker.

Recently I've realized that I never remember the article that I skip. The guilt that I feel is so fleeting; I'm not regretful for not having spent more time listening to something that doesn't interest me.

The other day, Mike and I were talking about "zooming out." Imagining your life from farther away or in the future can be a real help when trying to weigh priorities or make a decision. Asking yourself what you think you will remember in 10 years or what you will be happy that you did today 10 years from now can give you perspective. Sometimes the answer is to go out, but sometimes the answer is to stay home and study. 

I can't say I've ever found myself, 10 years later, wishing I had finished that book I wasn't particularly enjoying. Someone once said, "don't sweat the small stuff." I think they were right.

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