Today I had a breakthrough. I ended up doing many of the things that I want to incorporate into every day.
1. Catch up with friends.
Weeks ago, I’d logged out of Google Talk instant messaging, so I could focus on my writing without chat windows popping up every few minutes. Unfortunately, this also coincided with my moving back to Sonoma and unknowingly waving goodbye to my social life, so I was left without even an e-friend to call my own. (This is where the world’s tiniest violin begins to play just for me.)
Today I signed back into chat and caught up with several people. Ahh, Google, organizing the world’s information AND making me feel loved? You anticipate my every need.
In the past few days, I’ve also spent time with a few real humans. Until now, I’d been relieved to have a break from my social calendar, but not watching Friday’s debate with friends put an end to my life as a hermit. I decided that it was time to hang out with people who have never seen Hannah Montana or High School Musical, and I called ‘em up.
Today I deleted over 1,000 of my 5,480 unopened Gmails. They were mostly from listserves that I’d never ended up reading, and from which I contentedly unsubscribed. I also started creating filters to route my emails into specific folders the instant they arrive. In addition, I restarted my computer for the first time in ages, which involved closing my dozens of open browser windows. Getting rid of emails and windows opens up a whole lot of breathing room. Brian’s post reflects my feelings on this matter.
3. Take care of myself.
I made oatmeal with mashed banana and walnuts, drank green tea kombucha instead of the coffee that’s becoming a habit, and later ate a couple of green salads. I took a long walk, breathed deeply, and looked at the stars. The previous night, I got six hours of sleep, which is better than five hours of sleep (just like two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven).
I love to read more than anything else, but I tend not to allow myself the luxury. Today I reminded myself that reading is “part of my job” now, as a student and blogger, and I read more than I have in weeks. I’m lucky that Darren reads for a good part of every day and constantly sends interesting stuff my way, including:
- “Is My Money Safe?” – New York Times FAQ on the stock market crash and what it means for you.
- How to Brew – A free online book on brewing your own beer.
- Thoughts on Children and Rewards for Normal Behavior – Financial reasons for not rewarding children for behaving like civilized people.
I’ve committed to reading something inspirational every day. Thanks to Stephen for the Idleness article, and for generally giving such good advice.
- “The Light at the End of the Tunnel” – A brief reminder that no matter how chaotic or unclear our circumstances, we’re always able to overcome them. DailyOM is one of the few daily newsletters that I actually read.
- “Idleness Takes Hard Work” – An argument in favor of doing nothing, to free up creativity and rejuvenate the body
All in all, it was a good day, and I hope to have a lot more just like it.