When I switched my CMS from Wordpress to Textpattern, I was somewhat annoyed by the three default categories. For the uninitiated, these are: Everything is going to be alright, Hope for the future, and Meaningful labor, and they were implemented by the late Dean Allen, the creator of Textpattern.
At first, they struck me as rather twee, but as I was consolidating my writing, moving all my posts from multiple sources into a single install, I was struck by how often and how well my those categories fit many of the posts I had struggled to classify.
If I was commenting on something I found frightening, like, for example, certain peculiarly coiffed heads of state, using the category Everything will be alright would help offset or quell my unease a bit.
This turned out to be a welcome and important reminder that details matter. In their discreet way, these categories advocate hope and purpose; they are aspirational. Meaningful labor holds more significance for me after I was stuck in a bad job situation for far too long, but it also carries over into the personal. After all, what is parenting if not the most meaningful labor there is?
In our always-online world, it’s easy to become dispirited; we are constantly barraged by triteness and horror and Instagram meals you can’t ever afford to eat, and it will affect your mood. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t pay attention, because we have to, but we must be careful not to let negativity render us apathetic, because apathy is the real danger.
That’s why I’ve come to find these categories so rewarding. Getting these small reminders in my day strikes me as more important than ever. Well done, mr. Allen1.
1 (And obviously kudos to the team for keeping the project going.)