I love podcasts.
I love at least enough podcast to get me through the week of commutes and then some… so when my routine is thrown out and I don’t have as much travel time as normal, I experience a sort of podcast anxiety, trying to sneak in a few minutes in small moments, teeth brushing, etc, so that I don’t fall too far behind by the time the next week’s worth of episodes starts downloading.
Now, on the whole, I consider this a really good habit. I get to learn, laugh, experience (my podcast playlist is a mix of comedy, wrestling, and faith based podcasts… waiting for the day someone combines all three… Tripp Fuller made a Ric Flair reference once and I marked out for days, but that’s about as close as we’ve got…). It’s a good thing, as I said – podcasts are great content, and they also encourage me to do housework because I can’t just sit and listen. If I’m not driving then I need something engaging (but not too engaging) to do while listening; so dishes, cleaning, unpacking, lawn mowing, all these things are more likely to get done if I have un-listened to podcasts filling up my phone.
So what’s the problem… clearly this post isn’t going to simple be a mash note to podcasts… though maybe it should be, no, that’ll be another time. We know as a reader that something is coming. You don’t start any story with I love x, without love of x coming to be a problem and the protagonist learning to love x in a new more beautiful way… that’s just how you write stories.
I’m discovering the need to take a break from content.
A break from filling my time and (head)space with things that I could learn (whether that’s Nyasha Junior talking HERmeneutics, or how much Jon Gabrus loves Taco Bell). A break from consumption.
Now this isn’t me saying I (or other fans of content consumption) need to check out from all electronics, do a monastery stay and walk through the wilderness to discover anew our quiet time. Take a break from content to listen to music or call a friend for all I care!
What I am finding, is that I become fixated on learning something, finding a new nugget of info to store away for a time that will probably never arrive. It becomes less about the content specifically and more about content itself and that misses the point. That is anxiety inducing, that is overly utilitarian, and that is not why I got into it in the first place… its meant to be fun. And even though it still mostly is, I’m trying to be good… I’m spending some car rides just listening to music, sometimes I just brush my teeth, and one time I even waited for Heather to go collect another jumper and come back without refreshing twitter or listening to 53 more seconds of Ring Rust Radio (though with a 5 hour podcast you do need to take your chances).
Anyway, that’s a little something… and perhaps this is just content for content’s sake… I needed a blog post and here it is, something I could write quickly and without much soul searching… but perhaps it’ll be more. Perhaps it will help create a little space, perhaps it will allow me to enjoy the joke or take in the insight that little easier, a relaxing pastime once more.
I hope so.
Because I do really love podcasts.