I will tell you why the 13th is not unlucky.
Take February 13th for example. It’s early morning and the sun is shining. Pup and I start on a morning hike with the intention to get to the top of a particular hill above the woods. I mean, what better day?
These days the trails are a mix of ice and crusted snow which makes for a good challenge in some parts, but if hikes are to be likened to life, at least occasionally, then the tougher sections are but good reminders of what our journey is about.
After stopping to take in the view, again, (and to roll on the crusty snow, again), we make it to the top. On the day that bears the number deemed unlucky, pup and I find ourselves in sparkling morning sunshine and with front seats to admiring birds in flight from above (the ultimate ‘bird’s eye view’ one could say, pun and all).
So, we sit a while. There is always that cheeky thought that prompts you to keep on going, and then there’s the one that says to just take your time.
We choose the latter. We sit and watch the world: the softness of nature sounds, the snow bits morphing into puddles under our eyes, that small cloud like a tiny spider web glued to the blue sky, and then, in the distance, the buzz of the city. The pace is fast out there, even on a Sunday.
Slower times are rare unless you intentionally seek them, or as it happens sometimes, you stumble upon them and recognize the gift they carry: a reminder to pause. From everything, except being in the moment. Oh, and breathing, because when you realize you’re breathing, you take a deeper one yet as if you’ve just become aware of the air that surrounds you.
I’ve mentioned before that I left Facebook behind with no regrets whatsoever. It’s been long enough now to know I will never go back. Then the new year started, and I figured a month break from Twitter may be just the thing. It’s mid-February and I am leery of going back to the way I used to have it. I like the space I created without it.
The news reaches me despite not being active on Twitter and if I want to get a glimpse of the cacophony, I get on and take a look. Which I did a few times, but the aftertaste was the same: I do not like it. The noise is there. And the absence of that noise allows for creative pursuits and for lesser anxiety.
However, credit where it’s due: there are valuable insights in that space too. That is where intention comes to fruition: I go straight to that source and gather the knowledge. Curating my source of information and scheduling the times when I do it.
Here’s the thing: as much as I would like to change the world, I cannot. Obviously. But being sucked into the whirlwind of troubling news pushes me into wanting to do so. The sum of it becomes stress, helplessness, and increased fear for what’s ahead. And yet, the only changes I can make, if I choose to, are within myself and on the ways I act. Will that change the world? Nope, but it gives me hope and reason when I wake up to another day.
Staying off social media completely or almost completely creates time. Time to read, to create, to connect intentionally with people, time to be. That alone creates better perspective on life and through that, on present day events. Knowledge adds the solid ground to sit on as you sift through facts while trying to understand where the truth lies and why.
Speaking of knowledge, here are some of the books I have been reading while being away from the noise of social media, and when not working/reading for my upcoming project:
- Remember: The Art of Memory and the Art of Forgetting, by Lisa Genova (Harmony, March 2021).
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Knowledge of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Edition, 2015)
- Digital minimalism by Cal Newport (Portfolio, 2019)
- Spoonfed by Tim Spector, MD (Vintage Digital 2020)
If any remarkable books have come your way, please feel free to share.
Until next time…