Discover more from Daniel’s Musings
— Wrote this last week, but apparently didn’t send it out. —
Social distancing is the new norm. In Seattle you find lines outside the grocery store with people spread six feet apart. Some wearing masks. Some frustrated they have to wait to buy that one item they came for. Most thankful for the extra precautions.
There’s a part of me that’s actually quite excited for the shelter-in-place laws. It’s the perfect excuse to be lazy, listen to a good audiobook, watch television, research something. But that’s where it gets dangerous. Those things are nice, but when they disrupt the creation-consumption balance, I find my life starts to lose purpose. I need to be working towards something. When it’s all input, I start to lose sense of who I am.
The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to believe that my persistent need for a goal is an indicator of my inability to be alone. Even with the social distancing, I’m constantly connected. When I wake up, the first think I do is turn on NPR for my morning Coronavirus update. I find myself impulsively checking the news throughout the day. I’m connected to friends through private messaging channels. My family has FaceTimed more in the past week than ever.
I still think that working towards something is of great value. But maybe the thing I need to work towards is an ability to sit with myself.
The more I read about meditation, the more I’m convinced that it’s the mental equivalent of brushing your teeth. Last year I read Dan Siegel’s book The Mindful Therapist and came away thinking one of the best things I could do to be a good therapist was begin a mindfulness practice. After all, if you can’t sit with yourself, how will you be able to sit with other people?
BTW, economic doom is just around the corner. You might also want to get used to being with yourself.
1. Python - Does anyone want to take this programming course with me? HTML & CSS aside, if I ever learn to code, I’d like to learn Python.
2. Podcast - I’m a huge fan of Malcom Gladwell. What coffee table intellectual isn’t? I listened to S4.E2 of Revisionist Histories walking up the hill from school last fall. I’m not a lawyer, but still found my self fascinated by Malcom’s exposition on how the LSAT is flawed. TL;DR - The Supreme Court needs tortoises, but law school rewards hares.