Just in time for the year to turn over, seeing new numbers at the end of each date and a facing a new round of 365 days, I read this article from the New York Times – The Joy of Quiet.
“Quiet (verb): Make or become silent, calm, or still.”
Ironically, I picked up my first iPhone the other day (a Christmas present from the parents). Typically, this means your world becomes anything but quiet – apps take over, everything gives you notices and you never have to think a single thing through; the iPhone tells you everything (because it knows everything – it’s quite a tool!).
In my case, Siri met my world (I still haven’t really explored that feature yet – but she did say “Hi, Heather.”). We’re still getting to know each other…
But let’s get back to that article, the way things will quiet this year.
“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us
seem desperate* to unplug.”
*I’m not sure I’d choose the word “desperate here”; I think the more ways we have to be online & connect, the harder we find it to get away. We are more easily sucked right in.
Guilty as charged: I purchased a Blackberry in the Fall of 2009, and have since been always-connected, always checking e-mails right when they pop up, and finding myself scrolling through Twitter & Facebook feeds so mindlessly.
While I’ve slowly realized that the little black device doesn’t need to be attached to my hand – the world will not stop, slow or explode if I don’t see something right that second! – I’ve still maintained the habit of constantly checking updates, and found it hard to consciously leave the technology alone.
“We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted,
but less and less to say.”
Recently, I’ve slowly realized that if I leave my phone behind for a day, or in the other room for a few hours, or even turn it off (ah!)…. there is quiet. If I only spend an hour or two on the computer (outside of work), I have that much more time for reading, the crafty house-projects that we never seem to sit down and do, hanging out with D, spending time in the city, calling a friend or my family.
I don’t miss it; I pay attention to what’s going on around me; I take in more moments & remember more about my day.
The year of 2011 was loud in many different ways – these things will keep shouting, and will be heard:
Run a 3:34:xx marathon.
Go to yoga at least twice per week.
Travel. See. Explore somewhere new.
Ride the BIKE. Ride for miles with D. Ride for fun.
Blogging, writing, Instagram (whoa, LOVE),
and the social media things that stick around.
Work on a challenge; work by doing the things I’m passionate about.
This things will make room to be calm & quiet:
Spend more time offline, than on.
Live outside – find local hikes & trails to run.
Read at least one book per month; read to learn something new.
Visit friends & family – New Mexico, NYC, Florida, Pennsylvania, DC.
Enjoy the technology that exists (iPhone, I do heart you!): use it to connect to people, snap photos, and keep in touch!
I’m looking at you, 2012! I think we’ll be good friends.
What do you have your sights on this year?
What will you see? Do? Challenge yourself with?