Is almost over! Yes, I actually stuck with this pledge. A couple admissions: I probably spent more than my fair share of time on Smitten Kitchen (my one exempted blog). I mean, did I really need to read all 55 comments on the banana walnut carmel cake? Especially considering that I despise bananas, and don't really like caramel, and there isn't a chance in hell I'm ever going to make that cake? I think we all know the answer to that. I also had one very minor cheating incident. Every once in a while, I would go to my Bloglines page just to look at all those feeds building up (704 right now).And one day I saw that Loobylu was back, so I did have to spend about 10 minutes checking her out. But that was it. I swear to God!
I think this little experiment has been really, really good for me. No, I didn't suddenly find the time to learn Spanish and organize my closets and earn a master's degree. In fact, I felt as busy and stretched as ever. That hour or two a day seemed to just disappear into my life without me even noticing it. But I also didn't start every day in a state of inertia that I had to climb out of. Aside from the first week of withdrawal, I have been far more productive at work--and that just makes me a happier person in general. I've also been expending a lot less mental energy on the minutia of other people's lives. I haven't gotten pissed off or annoyed at people I don't even know, I haven't worried about their reproductive problems and I haven't compared my life to theirs. It's been a healthy respite.
But the one thing I really missed was, after a busy day, being able to relax for a while with my laptop, escape into the lives of others, see how they were like me and how they weren't. And, probably, reading blogs would have been a better use of my time than playing online solitaire, which became a bit of an unhealthy obsession on a couple afternoons. So on Sunday, I will be relishing my freedom to read about Julie's pregnancy and Julia's twins and Sweet Juniper's new baby and the Yarn Harlot's latest project. But here are my new rules for blogs:
1. No reading blogs until after lunch. Never, ever, ever, no matter what, look at them first thing in the a.m. It really starts my day on the wrong path every time.
2. The Bloglines list is going to get shorter. The following are coming off:
- People who annoy me. We all know we have these people, that for some odd reason, we can't stop reading. They're know it alls, or they're holier than thou, or whatever. If I find myself pissed off after reading someone, they're coming off.
- Blogs that have gotten overly commercial. I don't oppose advertising, but there are some people who seem to be using their blogs as a vehicle to get free stuff. Sometimes it seems like their fame, and the advertising that comes with it, have destroyed the integrity of their blogs, which were supposed to be about the lives of regular people.
- People who never stop talking about their wonderful heartwarming friendships with other well-known bloggers. Sometimes it feels like a middle school popularity contest out there, with everyone trying to show that they're best friends with the cool kids.
- Blogs that I really don't like that much, but I keep on hand just for extra procrastination material.
Here I go, back into blogland, hoping I can take a drink without becoming an alcoholic again. (But not until Sunday.)