A few weeks ago, I made a radical shift in terms of how I spend my time online. My husband and I don’t have a TV, but we do have cable internet, and our business depends on us being online frequently. But in addition to the actual work I needed to do on the computer, I used to frequent a couple of news sites and several sad blogs. I think I read the news out of habit, and a feeling that I needed to keep up with what was going on in the world. I can’t really say why I was drawn to the sad blogs. But whatever the reasons, I would estimate that I used to spend at least an hour each day reading news stories (and the news doesn’t tend to focus on happy events) and sad blogs. Some days I’m sure it was more than that.
I don’t know the exact day, but about two or three weeks ago, I just decided to stop reading depressing stuff. I have a wonderful, happy life, for which I am exceedingly thankful. Why was I seeking out stories online that cast shadows over my day? I realized that I did not, in fact, have to read the news everyday – or ever at all. The world will keep on spinning, regardless of whether I know all the details about the various tragedies that are occurring every day. I served two years in the Peace Corps in Africa, and I have friends who live all around the world. I’m well aware that we in the US are a very fortunate bunch, and I will continue to support organizations that are fighting against social injustice and poverty and disease around the globe. I don’t need to know about specific events in order to trigger my sympathetic side. And I don’t need to read about other families’ tragedies in order to be exceedingly grateful for my own family.
So just like that, I stopped visiting sites that didn’t make me feel good. I still have to do extensive online research for my job, but I stick to the topics at hand and no longer click on links that I later wish I hadn’t. I feel so much better. I am living under that proverbial rock, and it’s a wonderful, cozy place to be. I know that for some people it wouldn’t be, but for me, it’s perfect. I do still have plenty of online reading that I do for fun, but I would estimate that I’m saving about an hour a day that used to be spend reading things that made me less happy. Now I’m spending that hour playing with my son, hanging out with my husband, or working in the yard. For me, that’s a great trade.
Here are some of the sites that I’m still visiting. I find that they all inspire me, make me smile, give me ideas that I can use in my own life, and generally make my day better:
Choosing Raw (I am planning to make those awesome looking mint chocolate bars tomorrow. Dessert with spinach in it? Sign me up!!)
Craigslist (you never know what you’ll find…)
The Ultimate Money Blog (check out her article today about hemp. I’m a HUGE fan of hemp, and wish the stuff I buy didn’t have to be imported from Canada)
I don’t visit all of these sites every day, or even every week. But they’re all sites that I really enjoy, and that fit well with my own priorities and beliefs (can you tell I’m into nutrition and frugality and environmentalism?) There are lots of others that I enjoy too, but this list was what popped into my head when I tried to think of sites that I find inspiring and rewarding, and will thus continue to visit.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!