Troy Patterson
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Wed 27 Feb 2019
3:21 PM

FOMO All the Things

I’ve always had an addictive personality. Not so much for drugs or alcohol, but things like sports, video games, tech and entertainment. I find something and devour it for months at a time. I learn everything there is about the topic and then within no time I reach a burnout and move on to the next topic. The problem is there are always more things that fulfill this rush for me.

Even when I try to spend my time on better topics or virtuous content I tend to over do it as well and perhaps defeat the purpose. For example when I cut back on my digital usage I try to fill that time with reading. So I setup my Goodreads yearly goal and dive head first into as many books as I can. I fill the empty time with books and devour more than digest what I’m reading. It’s all about reaching the end and starting the next book.

Also in the same vain I have curated my subreddits and my RSS feed to be bastions of minimalism, stoicism and intelligent writing, but in the end I spend the equal amount of time researching tech just from the angle of limiting. While I don’t inherently think that’s bad it’s still amassing content in just a different form.

This week I’ve been thinking about how to combat this and change my habits. I decided the first thing would be to ignore my TBR pile. Pick out one of my favorite reads and so a slow engaged reread. So on Monday I grabbed a copy on the bookshelf of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. This might be one of the best books I’ve read in the last 15 years. Honestly for the feelings it evokes only The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett and Harry Potter.

If a book can make me evoke pure joy, cry real tears or laugh out loud why should I not read it again instead of the new flavor of the month. Not to say new books can’t do this, but based on how many have it’s unlikely and I should at least spend some time revisiting those places once again.

I have the brain of a scientist and constantly want new information to satisfy my curiosity. That’s not a bad thing but in 2019 there is just so much available information about everything and anything that you can become so overloaded that I think at least for now I need a break from that drive and another chance to slow down.