As part of my digital decluttering plan, I’ve started focusing on aggressively exploring high-quality leisure.
Here’s an update on how it’s been going:
- Reading old, challenging books: I had previously started these two, but over the past week I finished Meditations and made good progress on The Republic. My daughter is going to be attending a summer program for high schoolers at St. John’s College, so she’s starting on Plato as well. I’m thinking we can keep each other motivated.
- Starting a band: My wife and I had a jam session with a couple friends last weekend! It was really fun playing live music again. We were listening to songs together, trying to figure out how to play them, and just grooving out on some improvisation too. It’s still early stages, but I may have to start looking into a new bass and practice amp.
- Constructing crossword puzzles: It was a slow start, but I was able to put together a couple of decent minis. The first couple nights I got nowhere and ended up throwing my attempts in the trash. But after my subconscious did some homework apparently, I got something going. One of them could be considered mildly offensive. Hopefully these aren’t too indicative of my subconscious.
- Teaching my kids how to fix or build something every week: Since my daughter has her learner’s permit and has been practicing driving, I’m using the opportunity to teach her basic car maintenance. This past week, we cleaned up battery corrosion, checked the air filter, refilled wiper fluid, and ordered a rear wiper blade we’ll replace later. When we first lifted the hood, she remarked, “That’s what the inside of the car looks like?!” So we’re starting to demystify things a bit for her.
In terms of my break from optional tech, after the first few days of habitually reaching for Twitter or wondering what the market was doing, I’ve become quite comfortable with not knowing what’s going on. Longer term, it may be mildly concerning to literally have no idea what’s going on in the world. But for now it feels very liberating to just let go (mostly of things I have no control over anyway) and spend more time with those closest to me engaged in meaningful activities.