Saturday, April 28, 2018

Y is for You Are What You Consume (And What You Don't)

It has been an unexpectedly powerful experience to be both thoughtful and random in my choices of podcasts. My podcast queue looks very different now than it did when I began. I've gotten rid of podcasts that I loved until the minute I considered sharing them with you. When I realized they weren't good enough for you, I realized they probably weren't good enough for me either.

There are 28 podcasts in my queue right now. Some produce content daily, some weekly. Some are short, some are long. If I listened to everything in my queue, how much time would I be spending on podcasts each week? I did the math to find out.

The Math
If all of these podcasts were producing weekly content at their normal level, I would have:

25 hours
of podcast listening. Every Week. Holy moly. And I haven't even subscribed to most of the great podcasts people have given me as recommendations yet. Now of course I don't listen to them all. I don't even come close. There are podcasts I haven't listened to even once during the month of April. They are great podcasts, but I simply don't have time! 

I'm also an avid audiobook gal. I listen to at least a book a month. Even here in April my son and I've been listening to an audiobook together whenever he's around. 

And it doesn't stop there! You'd hardly know it the past couple of weeks, but I love music. It's the passion that has suffered the most during this podcast A-Z challenge. Spotify is waiting for me patiently.

And of course I get content from a lot of places other than my smartphone: books, TV, movies, social media, live people...

Now I'm a reasonably busy person. I certainly know people who accomplish more than me, but I get my share of living done. It's one of the reasons I love podcasts so much. It helps me multitask--I'm learning while I drive, cut up vegetables for dinner or exercise.  

This morning, on my daily commute, I listened to the Ultimate Health Podcast. They were interviewing Sarah Wilson, the author of the book First We Make the Beast Beautiful, which is a book about anxiety. Although she wasn't addressing the habit of filling our lives up with noise specifically, it was a piece of what she was speaking about when she said,
"We are running away from our loneliness. We are running away from a need to actually sit quietly and face up to something every spiritualist and every deep thinker in human history has talked about: the path inwards. Salvation and peace come when we can turn around and do that very, very difficult walk back to ourselves." 
Ugh. I know she's right. I can get so obsessed with something that I forget about my own existence!

Balance. Some of my favorite A-Z challenge blogs this year have touched on this important topic. I'm crazy bad at it! But that's what I'm striving for. Step one begins right here, right now...since I'm the kind of person who feels an obligation to her podcast queue...let me begin to find a space for quiet in my life.

Passage of time...


So I purged a bunch of podcasts. But then I thought I should go back through and add all the blogs I thought sounded good that people have been recommending to me. And the new total appears to be somewhere around:
26 hours
Yeah, balance is a hard thing. There is so much great content out there! I hope this blog has inspired you to find some. But don't let it fill in the spaces of your life. The spaces are where the living happens. 

Good luck finding the balance.


  1. Finding that time is difficult but oh so worth it. I have become a big fan of the podcast. So much great info, so little time.

  2. Fun exercise going through the math. It really puts things in perspective. We are inundated with content these days and much if it is wonderful but I agree that we still need to find time and space to be away from it too. I find podcasts great for long drives, or while cooking in the kitchen. Weekends In Maine

  3. Balance is definitely the guiding light to getting life right isn't it Melanie? It's not something that April has brought into my life - I feel like I've been on my laptop more than I've been off it. I've been commenting, reading, FB'ing, sharing etc etc and I am sooo looking forward to next week and having things go back to normal - and there's no way I'd fit in 26hrs of podcasts!

    Leanne |
    Y for You are Unique

  4. This is a pretty eye-opening post. I've begun listening to more podcasts and audio books this year and I think I need to consider just how much time it's consuming and make some balancing adjustments. Thanks for the reminder.

    I think it's interesting (and admirable) that this challenge has had you re-thinking some of the podcasts you've listened to and letting go of those that aren't right-fit anymore. That's an important thing to pay attention to, so yay you!