Hi, my name is Ted, and I have a problem.

I have a bone to pick with myself. I have a reading problem. It’s like a drinking problem but much worse, because at some point you pass out after drinking too much. Reading has no such governing system. You can just read and read and read till you’re dead from old age or starvation because you read so much and forgot to eat. And another thing, if you’re a raging alcoholic, your loved ones may stage an intervention to get you help. If you’re a raging bibliophile people probably see you as intelligent and well-read. This is the basis for my problem.

In recent years I have come to rely upon RSS aggregators like Google Reader for a steady stream of information whenever I want it. I love staying up-to-date with technology, politics, gaming, and funny internet stuff, especially webcomics. And while I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, I sometimes feel like I’m wasting my life reading about making cool stuff when I could actually be making cool stuff. For example, at home I have an Arduino starter kit that I got for my birthday 2 years ago and was really excited about. Unused. In the past couple years I’ve made plans for small pieces of furniture that I wanted to try my hand at building, and I even bought the materials. Now they’re scrap wood. If I had a nickel for every time I say “I read today that…” I’d probably quit my job and work full time reading and saying that. Maybe not though; I’d probably have to hold out for more than a nickel.

Is my main problem that I like reading too much? Is it that I get more enjoyment out of having little factoids to fill in gaps in conversation than I would out of other things? Or is Marianne Williamson right? IS my deepest fear that I am powerful beyond measure? That’s probably it. I’m kind of like Genie in Aladdin. My PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER simply terrifies me, so I cling to my itty bitty living space. I joke because that quote’s so grossly overused and I like comparing myself to cartoon characters, but there’s probably something to it. If only it weren’t so dramatically worded.

I don’t really have a point to drive home here, just doing some self-examination, which is why it’s so scattered. Although maybe just getting this in writing will help me take a step toward doing rather than simply absorbing. I should probably set up a regimented system with a manageable ratio of reading to doing. If I do anything interesting I’ll be sure to post it here.

I’m also interested to know if anyone else has the same problem I do. It’s easier to deal with your shortcomings if you know you’re not the only one. RSS-addicts anonymous, anyone?

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