I have been saving this article to share with you all, just waiting for a time when I feel overwhelmed.
After reading this article on an overwhelmed day, I hope you too will realize to pick and choose to learn, discuss, and be the things that are truly important to you. Let the other noise fall away - and let go the guilt that you are doing it. You cannot - and should not - be all things to all people in the world.
The opening excerpt from NPR correspondent Linda Holmes:
The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers.
Consider books alone. Let's say you read two a week, and sometimes you take on a long one that takes you a whole week. That's quite a brisk pace for the average person. That lets you finish, let's say, 100 books a year. If we assume you start now, and you're 15, and you are willing to continue at this pace until you're 80. That's 6,500 books, which really sounds like a lot.
Let's do you another favor: Let's further assume you limit yourself to books from the last, say, 250 years. Nothing before 1761. This cuts out giant, enormous swaths of literature, of course, but we'll assume you're willing to write off thousands of years of writing in an effort to be reasonably well-read.
Of course, by the time you're 80, there will be 65 more years of new books, so by then, you're dealing with 315 years of books, which allows you to read about 20 books from each year. You'll have to break down your 20 books each year between fiction and nonfiction – you have to cover history, philosophy, essays, diaries, science, religion, science fiction, westerns, political theory ... I hope you weren't planning to go out very much.
You can hit the highlights, and you can specialize enough to become knowledgeable in some things, but most of what's out there, you'll have to ignore. (Don't forget books not written in English! Don't forget to learn all the other languages!)
...the story continues here. Please go and check it out, and give yourself a break today.