Recently I got a, um, gentle reminder (warning) from one of my airline mileage clubs that my miles were about to expire.

The message was worded in such a way as to suggest I might regret this event for the rest of my life if I foolishly allowed such a thing to happen. Luckily for me, the package they sent me included a helpful list of ways I could “spend” my miles in lieu of airline flight (having avoided this particular airline like the plague, clearly I have never been on track to accrue enough frequent flier miles to actually fly anywhere anyway).

One of the suggestions seemed simple enough – use my miles to purchase subscriptions to magazines I like to read. There was only one tiny wrinkle in their plan – being in the eating disorders field, there are very few magazines I actually like to read. In fact, I avoid magazines the way I avoid (or try to, anyway) root canals. Taxes. And anything with small pinchers and a taste for drinking my blood.

So I picked out two magazines I was sure would be harmless – “Time” and “Real Simple”.

“Time” is just plain confusing. I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t follow politics – if I thought I was confused before I learned about an issue, just wait until after I get done learning about it! I now feel guilty if I don’t read it (think killing trees here) but I feel irritable if I do read it. Not a win-win in my book.

Nothing simple I can see on this cover - except its clear bid for the round file.

“Real Simple” on the other hand – the only thing I have found simple about that subscription so far is how simple it is to realize how many things I (apparently) need to fix about myself.

Take this month’s cover headlines, for instance:

Snack Smarter and Get Slim Now

Erase Credit Card Debt for Good

9 Expert Ways to Boost Your Memory

Yikes! So on the agenda this month, according to “Real Simple”, is “getting slim”, “erasing debt”, and “boosting memory”. What exactly is simple about any of those?

I do freely admit I could use a healthy dose of options B and C. Option A is why I don’t buy magazines. I am super-disappointed in “Real Simple” for pandering to the lowest common denominator just like every other rag mag on the racks today – my mistake if I thought I was getting “Pinterest” in paper form. Sigh.

So on my “simplify my life” agenda this week is recycling this month’s copy of “Real Simple”. Now THAT I can do and instantly feel better about myself!

Today’s Takeaway: What are you reading that perhaps is complicating your life, or your perception of the overall quality of your life, without you even knowing it is having that effect on you? If there are screaming headlines in your world, entering your home and demanding your attention, how often do you give it to them, and what effect (if any) does it have on you? Take stock of how what you read changes how you feel about you – and then simplify your life by doing something about it.