This month I’m going to attempt to shake things up a little.
This month I’m going to try to do something new every day. Maybe it will be small, maybe it will be big. Mostly, I’m sure it will be small.
This morning I did not make coffee to go with breakfast. I brewed a cup of tea (yes, earl grey, hot).
Later in the morning, I stumbled across this post on The Art of Manliness blog, and suddenly it felt like I’d taken my first step into a larger world. “More Footage” is the title of the blog post, and the basic idea is that we can change our subjective view of the passing of time by embracing novelty.
researchers have found that whenever your brain participates in experiences that are novel and/or emotionally salient, it figures, “I may need to remember this later” and so takes plenty of “footage” of what’s going on. When you later look back on those periods, there’s plenty of “film” to unspool, so the experiences seem to have lasted a long time.
However, when you do things that you’ve done before, that are familiar, and follow the same routine, your brain already knows what to expect next. It’s seen this movie before. So off clicks your mental camera.
In a lovely coincidence, I also decided to stop using social media this month. Well, as much as possible. I mean I’ve got professional reasons to at least be on FB sometimes (#DubiousRationalizations). At the very least, though, I want to stop the reflexive scrolling and refreshing and desperate search for “likes” on my phone. I’ll try to open the Kindle app and read instead. And maybe keep my “hilarious” observations to myself rather than coughing them up into an ephemeral social media post. This all began on Ash Wednesday when I spontaneously deactivated my Twitter account. A couple weeks later, it feels good to be away from that stream of negativity and I figured I’d expand into a digital detox of sorts. I imagine I’ll be back on all those platforms by the end of the month – heck, I may not last that long. But I’m going to try.
So it all seemed like providence. A sudden unexplainable urge to have tea instead of coffee followed by a blog post encouraging me to do exactly that. Well, I’m not going to fight against these obvious signs and portents. So here I am, first of April and I’ve actually written a post on my own blog. Crazy.
Who knows what tomorrow could bring?