Of course they are ubiquitous. I like that word, ubiquitous. A fancy way of saying everywhere. In my mail. In my email. On Facebook. On twitter. On TV. I have to pay extra to avoid ads on streaming services.

I opened a new Google account for this blog. So far it is full of ads from WordPress. But it’s only a few months old. Given time and foolish shopping and it will have over 10,000 unopened emails from companies eager to get my attention. It’s the American way. My current main email address has 14,840 unopened emails. Most of them are ads. Some are medical notices. I could spend all day unsubscribing and it would barely make a dent.

I don’t have time for all these ads. It feels like a crushing weight.

That could have something to do with recently going back to work in the office after having worked from home 80% of the time. The commute sucks up another 5 hours a week. My returning to the office coincides with training a new employee. Just before I came back, my coworker announced he was leaving for another job. So I have double the work load I had before, I am trying to catch up with in-office work left undone, and I am constantly pulled away for training. I feel the crush of work overload.

And I am a caregiver. My husband lives with cancer. We’ve just gone through a three month period of miseries for him. An ulcer on his heel, seven skin cancer procedures. An average of three medical appointments a week. At first I thought I would be able to make up time lost from work by working late. But I found that I was unable to do so. I lacked the energy and mindspace. We are past that for now. Now we just wait for the next complication of his underlying bone marrow cancer.

So, I’ve begun quitting things.

I quit Weight Watchers. I don’t have time to keep track of points. I have to think about my husband’s dietary needs. So it’s Lean Cuisine for my lunches. Or salads. ,

I quit The Bulwark and The Dispatch this morning. I don’t have the energy or the room in my mind for politics right now. I can’t save the Republic from Trumpism or from Progressivism. Others, better equipped and more committed, will have to carry on the fight.

I’ve mostly quit trying to encourage people to keep themselves and others safe from the Corona Virus. For one thing, it’s a losing task. A fools errand. By this time, people are either willing to care for themselves or others in this regard or they are not. It’s not my task.

I went through my twitter account and unfollowed a bunch of argumentative types (about politics). I should probably also unfollow some of my favorites. Pare it down to weather, literary friends, and people I know personally. That’s the next task.

I’m reducing my TV consumption. I don’t need to know all the news.

And finally, I need to do some things to fill the well, as my writer friend, Cynthia Beach, advises in her book, Creative Juices.

So I joined Annie’s kit club (a response to advertisement) am making a sampler afghan. I’ve learned three new stitches so far. It’s expensive, yes. But it’s worthwhile for the instruction. I am enjoying doing something new. And crocheting is something I can do in waiting rooms. Easier than knitting or quilting.

I am reading on my lunch break at work. Currently “A Cup of Dust” by Susie Finkbeiner. I can’t take a break or a vacation right now. It’s nearly impossible. But I can take a break for my mind.

I planted flowers outside my condo. I hope some of them survive. We’ve had frosts the last few nights, so we’ll see.

If you read this, and felt you were lured into a whiner post, I’m sort of sorry. Sort of. But I hope you might also think about how to restore some balance. To get away from the madding crowds, even if you can’t really get away. To find ways to fill the well and restore your soul.