Rebooting this newsletter
It’s been almost 11 months since the last issue. It’s probably no surprise to learn that COVID is mostly to blame. Not that I ever got sick from it mind you; my household was blessed to have so far avoided it. But, 2020 was just a rough year. The news with regards to the pandemic was bad and kept getting worse and on top of it, it was an election year and it seems that we Americans decided in the midst of it all, and perhaps because of it, to collectively lose our minds. Already by April of last year, when I sent out the last issue, I had given up on trying to maintain any sense of normalcy. Not only could I not concentrate enough to write but I almost completely stopped reading as well. Four months into the year I was doing a bang-up job on my Goodreads’ Reading Challenge with 30 books read. I finished only six more the rest of the year and most of those were audiobooks that I felt like I slogged through.
It wasn’t all bad, though. I’ve been working from home from 11 years so that continued without any real adjustment on my part. My wife started to work from home as well for the first time. There was some adjustment to that. My kids have done the virtual school thing and we have mostly made it through just as long as we remembered to keep the bar low in terms of expectations. It hasn’t been easy to work and keep the kids focused, but we have persevered. I kept up my diet and exercise routines and, while I only lost less than ten pounds in 2020, which was censurably less than the two year preceding, I recognize it was better than gaining it.
By the end of the year things began to look up. Biden won the election, my family remained healthy, a vaccine was found, which at some point we will get it, and my interest in things are slowly starting to return to normal. I’m reading again, I’ve lost ten pounds already this year, and, well, you already know since you are reading this, I’m taking another shot at this email newsletter.
So, where do things go from here? In general, we keep moving back toward normal however normal is defined now. With regards to this newsletter, I’m not sure I know yet. All I know is that I want to write. I think it is enough to see what works and what doesn’t, and figure it out as I go.
One thing I’ve been learning more about recently is habit formation. A few months back, I read James Clear’s Atomic Habits and the most useful thing I’ve picked up from it is that the best way to start a habit is to make to so dead simple to do that you can’t help but do it. I’ve applied that strategy to several things recently and have been amazed at how once I establish a habit, even if what I’m doing barely feels like doing anything at all, it can soon grow into something more substantial with time. My 5 minute cardio routine is now a 25 minute one. My 10 minute stretching routine is now nearly 30 minutes. I’ve been focusing on 5 minutes of breath-work a day and I already see that growing into a stronger habit. Anyway, I plan to take the some approach with this newsletter. First, I need to establish and build up the habit, then I’ll build on that foundation. I’ll see where it goes from there.
Invisible Ritual by Jennifer Curtis and Tyshawn Sorey
Invisible Cities by A Winged Victory for the Sullen
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