Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 15, 2011
I used to subscribe to Omni Magazine, and loved it a lot. I was into alien stories and space stories and some of those scientific conspiracy theories one always heard about back then. It was the days of X-Files and I loved it all, even if I didn’t quite believe it all.
Then one month I got a notice saying they were discontinuing publication of the magazine and I was sad. I had just re-upped my subscription a couple of months earlier and thought that maybe I’d be getting some money back. But these folks never give you back your money. Instead, the letter said they were going to start sending me a replacement magazine, Discover. This was December 1995.
I love Discover magazine. I think some of the smartest people in the world must read it because the comments I see every month cover some topics that just leave my mouth wide open. And the commenters aren’t all PH.D’s either, just “regular” people that happen to know a lot about certain things.
I always felt smarter for reading Discover. It’s amazing the things you can learn. I was always drawn to the astronomy stuff, galaxies, string theory, warp speed, that sort of thing. I always read all the medical stuff and have been fascinated with the progress that’s been made over the years in the study of the brain.
Yes, I’m talking about the magazine in the past tense because after almost 16 years I’m letting my subscription lapse. This is a hard decision for me because I still love the magazine a lot. But you see that picture above? Those are magazines that I’ve yet to get to and I have a few more than I discovered after taking that photo. And the funny thing is that I’ve just finished reading two other Discover magazines and still have tons left.
As I’ve mentioned in the past I tend to speed read. Some articles in this magazine I still can do that, but others take time to get through. I also have other magazines that tend to be more pertinent to things I do, such as PC World, HealthLeaders, and a couple others. All of that and the time I spend on my computer and consulting in general doesn’t leave much time for such an indepth magazine any longer.
Why am I writing about this? Two reasons actually. The first is because I love the magazine and I would recommend it to anyone that has a love for science in general.
The second is because there’s a lesson here. Sometimes we have to let go of things we love when they’re counter productive to the rest of our lives. A magazine subscription might seem like a minor thing to some, but 16 years is still 16 years. In the past I’ve talked about the need to declutter one’s life sometimes to push forward. It’s hard to declutter when you’re still bringing new clutter into the house, even if it’s pretty or somewhat functional. It can be harder to give that up for something better, which, in my case, will be time devoted to other things. And if I really need a fix I’ll just see what they’re offering online.
What have you tried to give up lately to push forward? Go ahead, share.