Alright

Life

This song has gotten me through the past week.

Also: fucking amazing video!

Having a challenging couple of weeks. Will get back to posting when life is less stressful (hopefully soon).

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“We all want dinner, friends, and a house to sleep in.”

From a conversation I had with someone the other day, talking about the difference in opinions we have with people. But really, we all just want the same basic things, right?

What it all boils down to

Life

On being a time being

Life

Funny thing about time: sometimes when I observe it I see a mere a social construct. But lately I’ve been noticing that It really is a thing that exists.

I think this is the biggest takeaway I have learned on this 30 day phone fast, which is over as of today.

I’m  proud of myself for for sticking with this for 30 days. I feel good. I can actually leave my house without my phone and not have a panic attack. That feeling of freedom is amazing. Last weekend I turned off technology for 24 hours and actually went for a hike with my pinhole cameras two days in a row without my phone. I actually left it in my house and drove 30 miles away from it. And I didn’t spontaneously combust. I will admit to a moment of panic when I was separated from my husband and realized I had no way to contact him – I couldn’t text him. That was an interesting moment. We found each other and it all worked out, BTW. And I used The Force for my pinhole camera exposures.

I have loved having extra time in my day.  I’m not sure if I was especially productive with that time, but I did do a lot of reading, as well as some other creative things. I meditated more. I went for walks. I did some decluttering of my home. I listened to music.

Being away from my phone has allowed me to appreciate it. That moment when I was separated from my husband last weekend magnified my appreciation. I love being able to text when I need to (I also love being able to disconnect myself from texting when I need to). I missed the connection over photography I had with Instagram. I was visiting IG on my internet browser but the web version of IG lacks many of the features of the phone version. It was like standing on the other side of a glass wall and watching my friends without being able to interact.

I feel like I will need to be very diligent about my phone stealing my time away again. I have realized that my time is a precious jewel and I want to guard it. I think the key is to use my phone in a mindful way.

On breaking up with my phone – week three

Life

I am on week three of this experiment and I have a lot of random thoughts about it. I will share them here.

I have reached a point where I can leave a room and not have my phone attached to me. In fact, I have ditched my phone as an alarm clock and I keep it in another room at night to charge. Since I’ve done this I have slept better.

In general I am feeling happier and more at peace. I also feel more resilient. Before I started this, for awhile I’d lost my desire to do things that I like to do.  I didn’t really think it was depression. It was just a general sense of ennui. That is starting to lift and I’m finding my interest in things coming back.

The thing that I’ve liked about this program is that I don’t have to cut social media entirely out of my life. This has been really nice because I like checking in on what my friends on FB/IG/Twitter are up to. But it feels easier to place boundaries on it when I’m only doing it on my PC and not my phone. Though, I do feel like I could work on limiting my Social media visits even more. I’d like to limit my FB and Twitter visits to once a day or less.

The only two apps that I’ve deleted from my phone that I miss are Instagram and Strava. When this whole thing is over, I will reinstall IG, but maybe only focus on my photography account for awhile before diving into my personal account. Strava is nice because it gave me useful running stats that I’m missing. I don’t miss Facebook or Twitter or any of the others.

I decided on some ground rules for using my phone (and this comes directly from the book). I am not going to use my phone when I’m around other people. If I’m hanging out with another person, my task is to hang out and enjoy the company of the other person. If I am going to check my Instagram feed I’m going to set aside some time when I can look through it and enjoy it. Multitasking never worked for me. Also: no phone at the table while I’m eating!!

Yesterday I was working at the Mt Hood Farmer’s Market, representing the library booth. I didn’t have much to do except greet people coming and going. So I did a lot of people watching and I noticed the people in the other booths had their faces buried in their phones. Then later on when I was at the grocery store I noticed  that two kids  were wandering around the store staring into the phone. I’m totally not writing this to be judgmental because I am one of these people, I think we all are. It just struck me as odd yesterday when I noticed it.  There is this world happening right here, how on earth can  the phone be more interesting than what is going on out here in the real world?

I decided to stop using the website Goodreads entirely. A couple of weeks ago I went to edit some of my book information and Amazon was totally in-your-face trying to sell me books. I mean, it wasn’t even subtle. It bugged me. They are comodifying my reading and are so blatant about it. So I’m done. I’ve been keeping track of my reading in my Hobonichi anyway so I don’t really need it. Making this decision, I feel this intense sense of relief. I can just read a book and not share what I’m reading with the world, unless I want to. Wow. It’s weird how that makes me feel so free. I had no idea that the website had that effect on me to begin with until I felt the freedom from it that I do now.

The book is now instructing me to take 24 hours off from all screens. So no texting no email, no computer, no television, etc. So tomorrow after my run (because fuck that, I’m not turning off my music during my run), I’m cutting myself off from the Matrix for 24 hours. I’m kind of excited to see what I accomplish.

A note about the featured image: Almost exactly a year ago today I went on an unintended technology break when my phone’s battery died while camping. I spent 24 hours away from a screen of any kind. It was fucking fantastic. I took the featured (pinhole) photo during that time and I had to guess as to what I thought the exposure time should be. I think it turned out just fine without having to using the Pinhole Assist app!

No one here gets out alive

Life

During a discussion at my meditation group one of our members recommended an app that reminds  users that they are going to die at random times throughout the day. I thought I’d give it a whirl so I downloaded it.

The idea seems really morbid. Indeed, the idea of thinking about death seems really depressing.  But my gut was nudging me to try it.

So the next day I downloaded the app (We Croak is the name of it) and proceeded to have my day interrupted by notifications on my watch and phone saying “remember, you are going to die.” The first few days in my head I would read, “remember you are going to die soon” but I realized the terrible error of my ways and corrected my brain.

So yeah, five times a day I get a gentle reminder that I am going to die, with a quote to ponder.

I like it.

Instead of making me depressed it has given me a profound sense of clarity. This little gentle reminder of my inevitable demise is like a knife that cuts through all of the bullshit. It is making me realize that my time on this planet is limited. So how am I going to spend my time? I feel like this tiny bit of clarity is helping me make better choices.  Do I want to spend the next 20 minutes scrolling through Facebook, or do I want to spend the next 20 minutes reading my book? Or sketching? Or writing a poem? Or, or, or.

It’s been an eye opening experience and one I highly recommend.

You can find more info about the app here.