Ever have one of those days where for no apparent reason you have an extra pep in your step? You feel extra just for being awake? Or, you just feel awesome for no real reason? I had one recently and I was tickled pink when I realized it. I guess it has been so long I had almost forgotten what it felt like. At face value that sounds kind of sad, but considering the state of the world these last couple years anyone could be forgiven.
I tend to be a rather upbeat person. It is just my nature. As I push 51, it is also a mark of pride I still have such days. My job has certainly had an impact on a subconscious level. Being on an assignment for the past 5 years definitely helped. In general, I believe life’s responsibilities and worries tend to wear us down and take the “shine” off our world view. That said, I definitely missed the feeling and hope I’ve found enough of my old optimism to have more of them. The irony here is in some of the roughest times of my life I was the most optimistic. Nothing really seemed to tarnish my boundless good moods back then. One could say I’m a bit more jaded now.
I can’t help but wonder if my recent attempts to limit my social media exposure has anything to do with it. I spend less than 15 mins a day on FB or Twitter. About 90% of my IG feed is thirst traps and gym motivation. My brain gets its fill of context switching from TikTok, where I’ve curated a feed of comedy and funny home videos.1 I’ve also started denying myself the urge to check media/news apps first thing in the morning. I deliberately avoid them for at least 30 mins to an hour to give myself time to wake up and just be present. I pick up my phone and briefly scroll the notification panel for anything truly urgent and then just avoid it for a while.
I’m fond of saying “hope springs eternal” here and it has been a struggle these last 4-5 years to follow that mantra. Not to go all doom and gloom but I’m seriously worried for our way of life. Greed, bias and anti-intellectualism has replaced integrity, truth, and science. But, at the end of the day, I can only control myself. I cannot control others. My innate desire to “correct someone on the internet who is wrong” is slowly being replaced by a “leave it alone“. Successful discourse online is all but dead. I firmly believe my avoidance of that toxic environment is having an effect on me. I’m eager to test the theory.
So….hope springs eternal… (you knew it was coming.)
- Context Switching can be highly addicting and destructive to your work day or motivation [↩]