Unsubscribe: A Cheap & Cheerful Way to Survive the Holidays

the word unsubscribe spray painted on pavement

Recently, I’ve been fostering my illusion of control by unsubscribing madly from countless email lists to which others decided I should belong. (Honestly, I ordered one thing from you four years ago….)

As I freed myself from this maelstrom of email madness (For Pete’s sake, I met you at a cocktail party for five minutes three years ago….) I contemplated how nice it would be if I could effect a similar function with unhelpful/unnecessary thought patterns, habits, and yes, even people.  

Imagine, I thought, if—instead of ‘enjoying’ my 2 a.m. anxiety attack about the feasibility of accomplishing tomorrow’s to-do list—I could  ‘unsubscribe’ and fall back asleep?

At which point, I thought, “Why not try?” Why not, the next time I found myself glued to the ceiling in the wee hours, or pouring myself a second glass of wine after dinner, or participating in a preposterous conversation, instead hit my mental “unsubscribe” button and move on?

And what better time to begin this mental clean out than the holidays? A time when so many of us find ourselves running around in over-adrenalized circles, falling into less-than-useful habits and embroiled in kooky conversations?

So I began, and I’m writing to let you know that—at least for me—it’s been a remarkably useful—not to mention fun– exercise: one that has freed me up to focus on those thoughts, habits and people that foster and nurture my life, rather than cluttering it with murky detritus.

How has it been working, exactly? Well, most of us know when we are headed down one of our favorite, mental rabbit holes. In my case, when this occurs I’m visualizing an Unsubscribe button that looks remarkably like the Staples “Easy” button.  Then, bam.

So far, so good.

And while I recognize the danger in blithely advising readers of a newsletter/blog about the value of unsubscribing, I do recommend the importance of keeping only those items in your mental in-box that you truly need.

Frances Cole Jones