For the most part, I do things with good intentions.

I realize that might be an awfully bold statement, but I believe it to be pretty much true. Most of the things that I do in life, were conceived with a good intention in mind. Now don’t get me wrong, many times I stumble over that good intention so horribly that it is very much lost in the shuffle. And other times the good intention is not readily apparent to the recipient. But for the majority of decisions I make in life – they can be traced back to a good intention.

I sat down yesterday to sort through a week’s worth of unread email. A daunting task… But in the process I decided to FINALLY take the time to unsubscribe to all of those email subscriptions that I – with good intentions – originally subscribed to in the first place. Whether it was conservation advocacy, religion, politics, green living, how to make some extra money on the side, buying homemade, balancing my checkbook…I took a long hard look at whether or not I was actually using the email service before deciding to keep it or unsubscribe to it. For the great majority of them, the answer was a resounding “UNSUBSCRIBE!”

For those of you that haveĀ been through this process you know that it is FAR EASIER to just keep pushing ‘delete’ every day when said unwanted-but-I-probably-should-read-it email finds its way into your email inbox. Right? It’s so much quicker to just delete the email than to go in and actually remove your name from their mailing list. Oh – and that can be quite the process in and of itself! Sometimes you just have to push the ‘unsubscribe’ link and voila’!, you’re off their list. But other times it requires remembering your password (ugh!) and filling out a form before they’ll let you go.

I remained calm and exercised an inordinant amount of patience as I sifted through my list. I didn’t dwell on the but-I-should-probably-read-this angst of the process. I simply asked myself whether or not I actually DID read the email ever and if the answer was ‘no’, then I went through the unsubscription process. Plain and simple.

Simple being the operative word…

Three days every week I take Hannah to school. 40 minutes there; 40 minutes back home. Repeat in the afternoon. This gives me a lot of ‘thinking/praying/planning’ time each of those days.

Today I thought long and hard about the people in my life. I have a remarkable amount of friends who have served important and individually unique roles at one point or the other. Some have been lifelong friends. Others were accumulated through Facebook. Still others are friends of friends who became my friend. But I began using that same plain and simple method of asking myself “Is this a friend that feeds into me; or is this someone that I’m constantly trying to connect with to no avail?” Grant it, people are a much more important commodity than let’s say a Missouri Conservation email update. Likewise, their impact (or distraction) is that much more profound. I mentally sifted through my list. I thought about the people who are constantly trying to get together with me – and to whom I often am not able to find the time. I put them in the Feeds Into Me category with the added mental note to do a much better job of feeding into them. And I thought of the people that I seem to always be trying to hook up with and can’t quite seem to make it ever work. I thought of the people who are consistently requiring something of me: time, counseling, money, commitments. And I wondered if I should put them in the Unsubscribe category…

Then the unsubscribe list grew:

* unnecessary expectations
* fear of failure
* clothes that don’t fit
* Facebook comments
* worry about what I’m forgetting or not getting done
* self-induced pressures
* guilt over what I’m not able to do
* money I should be making
* workload that never gets finished
* books that I want to read but never find the time to pick up

The list seemed to go on and on.

I began making small steps – responding to emails, ignoring time-wasters, giving myself a mental break for things unfinished… And as I began being aware of my choices and why I made them, I began finishing some unnecessary business with one conscience thought that followed each act: ‘Unsubscribe’.

Some things will take more time to eliminate…remembering my ‘password’ (or the reason I got involved with it in the first place)…or repeated requests to be ‘unsubscribed’ (some of those email lists are difficult to get off of! aka: walking away from long-term relationships that are a bit more complicated to unravel.)

It will be a process, but I want simplicity. I want calm. I want to thoroughly and completely revel in the Now and be present for the Present. I want that surreal feeling of knowing that all priorities are being dealt with (and truly, there are very FEW real priorities in life) and all the people around me are people that truly want to be there.

I want this:

simple photography



and much more of this….

sarah ward harrison


2 thoughts on “UNSUBSCRIBE

  1. AMEN……sometimes its just time to break away from things and start anew. Simple things are great aren’t they..I love simple things, simple cars, simple tools, simple etc. But sometimes even those simple things add up and become a burden. Weird cycle huh…..overwhelm from complication – purge – then back to collecting things to fill in the empty time/space. This happens spiritually too, we need to know that our baggage can be dumped once and for all.

    – Patrick

  2. I just wanted you to know that you are in my “feed into me” category! =) I appreciate reading your inspiring words, gazing at the beautiful pictures you take and seeing the inspiring work that you do! Have I ever told you how much I love your doodling!!?? =) As the saying goes “dont take life so seriously, youre not getting out of it alive” =) Now go have a good day and remember that you are SPECIAL to ME!

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