I’ve felt off lately. Low on energy, sad, discouraged… that familiar cloud of despair that hovers over me every now and then.
This time, I noticed a pattern.
Whenever I start feeling even just a little bit down, I avoid real life and look for ways to feel better. My go-to place? The news. Specifically, an app called Flipboard that compiles all my favorite news, tech, and celebrity magazines in one place.
I had a couple of emotional days at the beginning of July, and I quickly turned to Flipboard to distract myself. Then, I became obsessed with it, checking it so frequently that I ran out of articles to read. I had to close it and hungrily return a few minutes later to refresh and see the 2-3 new posts.
My justification was, “Oh, it’s always good to know what is happening in the world.”…
But now that I think about it… most of the articles that make it onto Flipboard are tragedies, scandals, and precarious situations.
To test my theory, I opened the app and the first article was, “Family of 5 killed while on vacation.”
I made a mental list of the things I’ve been reading the past few weeks… cheating scandals, war threats, car crashes, plane crashes, kidnappings, murders.
I wondered, is this an attempt on my part to feel better about my life? Am I reading these horrible things to find comfort and gratitude in knowing it could have been me, but it wasn’t?
Holy crap. I need to look for comfort and gratitude in other places. This is wrong.
I decided to make an effort this weekend to stop reading Flipboard. Instead, I spent the whole weekend watercoloring. I took my supplies to Omi’s room and painted while he played Witcher 3, Thor snoring in the background.
I still avoided certain parts of life, but found a peaceful, healthy comfort in enjoying time at home with Omi and Thor. I had time to think about how this morbid gratitude trap was ultimately hurting me and keeping me down. I feel recharged.
I’m deleting Flipboard right now.
And getting back to real life. NOW.
Thanks for reading,
PS: Giveaway! If you’d like to win this majestically professional watercolor painting of some balloons painted with too much water (it’s my own technique I’m developing), leave a comment. I’ll pick a winner randomly and will respond to you in the comments to get your address.