I made a deliberate decision a few weeks ago to take a break from my blog. With limited time in the mornings, I wanted to focus my attention on Braiding Sweetgrass, a beautiful book that goes deep into the author’s relationship with the land.
My intention was to use the time I wasn’t writing to read about cattails and sweetgrass, maple syruping and connecting with the plants of the earth. More importantly, I wanted to observe and appreciate the world around me rather than spend so much time in my head writing and thinking.
For two weeks, I read a chapter or a part of a chapter each morning with my smoothie or my coffee before I logged into work.
Then work got busy, and instead of reading or writing, I found myself logged into work at 6:00 on morning pool days, as I skipped my swim to take care of tasks I wasn’t sure when else I’d get them done. On days we weren’t at the pool, I still logged into work early. I spent zero time in observation. I spent zero time in Braiding Sweetgrass.
At some point I noticed this, that I wasn’t writing, reading, exercising, or observing. My work days were longer because I was logging in early but not logging out early. I recognized: this probably is not healthy.
I tried to course-correct. I avoided logging in with my morning coffee. But I still didn’t read, and I didn’t write. Instead I flicked through my phone. Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. After a couple of weeks of scrolling feeds, I felt pretty empty.
My team lead at work mentioned he’s trying to build better habits, specifically around social media. He keeps his guitar next to his desk so that each time he’s tempted to take a break and click over to Facebook or Twitter, he picks up his guitar instead.
I’m going to try that too, only with my notebook or blog. I’ll finish the last few chapters of Braiding Sweetgrass when I’m ready. I’ll observe the world when spring gets here and I’m out in the garden again. But for now, for right now, I’ll keep a notepad or laptop nearby at all times. I will write rather than scroll.