Posted Jul 10, 2020
This is an augmented synthesis of a series of posts I’ve written on recreations doable in the time of COVID.
Walking. Of course, we might want to walk without purpose, but if sometimes, you'd like to make more of your walking, consider bringing an issue to contemplate. Your thinking may be more productive because you’ll have fewer distractions, plus, walking improves oxygenation to the brain. When I walk my dog to Trader Joe’s, I get to think undistracted about some issue, he gets to relieve himself, I get my shopping done, and we both get exercise.
Reading. The article may be writing’s most underrated form. It’s the distilled wisdom of an expert, and you can instantly curate for free with a Google search. Compared with a book, the article’s content tends to be more current, the value per minute’s reading high, and it’s free.
When you want to go deep, of course, there’s the book, and for those, Amazon is, well, amazing: millions of books, in and out of print, are browseable and available, usually used at a big discount, promptly delivered to your door. And if you don’t mind a digital version, you can choose from millions delivered to your e-reader such as Kindle instantly.
Music. Sometimes, you just want to passively listen but occasionally, you might want to consciously listen for emotion in the lyric and even the music, and perhaps see if it evokes a memory or aspiration. Similarly, if you play an instrument, playing with emotion distinguishes the artist from the player. If you’re having trouble summoning that, ask your teacher or try to imitate your favorite recording(s) of that song or piece.
Of course, it’s beyond the scope of this post to discuss all the music I love, but I’d like to particularly call your attention to Spiegel Im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirrors.) When I want to be meditative or think about an issue, for example, a challenging client, I’ll sit in my easy chair and listen to Spiegel. As it starts to play, I right-click it and choose “loop” which keeps it replaying until I press “stop.”
Your home. You’re probably spending more time at home. So it may be a good time to rearrange the furniture, declutter one room (start with just one corner), or wallpaper or paint one wall. That can make a big difference as my wife and I found out when we painted one of our kitchen’s off-white walls medium-gray and then found a wall clock with a red geranium on a white background.
Writing a just-because handwritten letter. It's more human when you replace the email’s bits and bytes with a handwritten note, perhaps on an attractive note card. Should you send one to someone in your current life, a long-lost friend, or even a stranger? I’ve started pen-palling a prisoner through writeaprisoner.com.
We may need to settle in for long spells of COVID restrictions. Perhaps one or more of the aforementioned can make yours more pleasant and productive.
I extemporize on this topic on YouTube.