Monday, April 09, 2007

A real lightbulb moment

I know how much y'all have missed my "epiphany posts."

This morning, after I returned from covering a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, I meandered past the table in our office where editions of other newspaper reside.

(I bet you didn't know that, did you? That newspapers subscribe to one another, to keep an eye on what other papers are doing? Sometimes we just swap out subscriptions, but we have to pay for The Commercial Appeal [the Memphis paper] and The Clarion-Ledger [the Jackson paper])


I picked up the lifestyle section in the CA, creatively titled the "M" section (as opposed to the "A" "B" or "C" sections). On Mondays, they feature articles on health and fitness.

(And since I'm a serious journalist, the "M" section is always my first stop in the CA.)

The cover story was entitled "Too Much." It detailed a phenomenon called "soft addictions." These are things that aren't illegal, or even considered "harmful" in small doses, but nevertheless take out loads of time from your life.

I was reading the article, and a lightbulb came on in my head - I have a few of these.

Chances are, you do too.

The list includes procrastination, watching too much TV (to the point of staying up too late and not getting enough sleep), acting moody or cranky, over eating, drinking too much coffee, shopping impulsively, daydreaming excessively (this one got me into real trouble in elementary school), complaining excessively (Hey Valerie! You're on to something!) and surfing the internet excessively.

Uh oh.

Taken in moderation, none of these things are evil. It's when I let them take over my everyday life, that they become harmful.

Unfortunatly, there is no "Internet time-suck Anonymous" or "Staying Up Too Late Anonymous" group, at least not in Senatobia.

It's just so easy to get caught up in being "caught up" - especially for a self-professed information junky like myself.

That icon at the top of this post? That's the symbol for Apple's Safari browser, which is what I use at work. (Hate it, by the way. Take note, Steve Jobs. I'm sure you have Google Alerts and all!)

So, today, I'm turning over a new leaf. Actually, it started last night, because Jason sent me to bed - yes, you read that right - at 9:00 p.m. He said I was getting "crankier by the minute."

I don't know if the earlier bedtime made a difference so far or not. I've got to do something, because it isn't fair to Anna Marie that the time I get to spend with her in the evenings is fraught with my crankiness, because I'm so dog tired all the time. Because as Amanda says, I get "caught up in staying up." It's a vicious cycle.

And I have to stay away from those internet time-sucks! You can waste more time looking at stuff like, you know.

Besides, there are much more productive addictions out there, like buying cute clothes for the kid.

(In the interest of full disclosure, this dress was a gift from a lady at the auction, and that pose was all AM's idea. She informed me that it was how people looked when they got their picture made. Huh?)


Steff said... just stepped on my toes!

It's amazing what these little things we think aren't hurting anyone can do to us, our relationships, and others.

Great insight there!

Melissa said...

Thanks. One of the things I'm addicted to most is checking my email. Because, well, I'm all important and stuff - not!

I'm in front of a computer all day, which makes the whole addiction thing easier, and I have to remind myself when I send an email out and wait for a reply that OMG, not everyone sits in front of a screen all day!

Lissete said...

Except for the coffee part, you described me to a T! I am loving the Red Carpet pose, too cute!

Valerie said...

check out Miss Thang!!

as for the rest, ouch.
guilty, guilty, guilty. especially blog reading...i try to not do it at work, but i'll hit a lull in my insanity, and the next thing i know, i'm checking out blogs (but in my defense, i only check out the ones who's addresses i remember! i have over 40. (now THERE'S an obsession)