Sometimes you can take away small stressors by automating a process. For example, these blog posts are not written day-by-day. They're written in batches, then scheduled to go out with social media alerts triggered the minute they're published. Each article is then captured, tagged, and catalogued for future reference. All of this happens without me lifting a figure. I just write the post.
Automations (I don't use) also exist to take these posts straight from this blog and gather them in a newsletter once a week, change the subject line, and send it out to my subscribers. I haven't done this kind of automation at least five years, because I feel that newsletter subscribers deserve more in return for them giving me the privilege of placing something in their inbox.
What does this have to do with anxiety?
My wife could probably tell you the extreme stress I was under in the past to meet deadlines for posts and newsletters (I've gotten much better). "I have to get the newsletter out," would piss off my wife to no end, which in turn ruined both our days. Flipping a switch to end those ruined days was well worth it at one point.
Removing automation can create just as much happiness, though. Take this famous story from Kurt Vonnegut:
“[When Kurt Vonnegut tells his wife he's going out to buy an envelope] Oh, she says, well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore.” – Kurt Vonnegut on NOW (PBS)
Today, we can order anything from Amazon, but I suppose that means we stop to smell the roses less. It's the same for my newsletter. The automations removed me another step from having real relationships with readers, which is what this newsletter thing is all about.
Automations aren't good or bad. They're a powerful tool that can make your life more livable, or take the life out of life.
This is part of a 30-day challenge to blog about anxiety. See all the posts.