Notes on Week 1 of my digital declutter (AND PALMYRA)

I AM NOT GOOD AT THIS. Well, I’m good at eliminating specific distractions, but I’m v. v. bad at not giving into the urge for a distraction and can be v. v. creative in how I justify the giving in. I spent waaaaay too much time, specific time I should have been focused on other things, looking up new recipes on my New York Times Cooking app. I listened to a podcast on the way to work one day (I figure this is gray area, since what else am I going to do?!). I read too many (old, not even current?!) blogs. I HAVEN’T EVEN TOUCHED MY PIANO. Perfection was not mine.

The good thing is, though, that I’ve written A LOT! I have several blog entries drafted and am coming up with new ideas all the time. That’s really nice. I have a lot of vetting to do, since obviously not all those ideas will be worth thinking deeply about, much less writing about, but I feel my brain opening up a little.

On the focused reading front, I feel good, too. I haven’t read a ton these evenings, since Chris has been surprisingly free and we’ve been catching up on Watchmen on HBO (OMG ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING SHOWS EVER. SO FREAKING WELL DONE AND WEIRD AND FANTASTIC AND ELEGANT). I was much more “present” during the show, too. I did give into a little distraction on my NYT Cooking app (grrrrr), but I turned my phone off completely one night and that helped. I guess all this brain retraining doesn’t happen overnight. HAPPEN FASTER WITH MINIMAL EFFORT FROM ME, PLEASE KTHXBYE.

I’ve been a little bummed at not having as much alone time in the evenings as I hoped, but we finished all episodes that have been released, so hopefully I’ll get some time back. That sounds mean to say, but in a job where I am “on” a lot and always talking to other people with a very specific kind of interaction, I really cherish space and time to be in my own head all by my lonesome. Chris understands and needs the same, but right now he works mostly from home so…. I am his social interaction. I just need him to be more social during the day so that we both want alone time in the evening, ha! (Ah, the ageless challenge of having one person working outside the home and the other working in it. Even for two introverts, it can be a juggling act.)

Week 2 is actually going to be much easier to be consistent, however, because… I’M GOING TO PALMYRA! Not even ALL CAPS can convey my excitement. I GET TO GO HERE:

Photo courtesy of New York Times.

Could you die?!

As you can imagine, being in such a remote and geographically small place means not a lot of easy technology. No streaming allowed, we have limited internet, etc. Not that I will have a super urge to do any of that, because I’m going to be focused on exploring the atoll and islands, visiting its historical sites, exploring the waters around the perimeter and in the lagoons, letting manta rays brush up against me, trying not to panic when I see (BABYYYY!!!) sharks, and taking ALL THE PHOTOS. Who has time for looking for new recipes when you get this?!

Because of my trip, my distraction temptations will only really affect me the early part of the week. Still, I want to take this project seriously those couple of days. Going into week 2, I want to stop adding new recipes to my NYTC Recipe Box (I have over 90 new-to-me recipes saved, which gives me PLENTY to try between now and 3 weeks from now) and I hope to read more in the evenings. Also, my work just announced that we get a free account as a result of their partnership with HeadSpace, so I’m going to start meditating again and see if that helps the calming of my brain. Of course it will, and I’m excited for free stuff!! Ha. But no recipe surfing, more reading in the evenings (aka, less attachment to the talkie box), and adding in some meditation. I like how next week should shape up, both on the digital declutter front and the OMG I GET TO GO TO PALMYRA front.


  1. Michael C Miller says:

    Holy Schmidt. Is this trip work-related (which is to say FREE)?? I had to google Palmyra (first result, an ancient city in Syria…no, that can’t be right), and, well, stunning. Obviously. What an amazing opportunity for you. Take thousands of photos that you can curate for years. #notjealousatoll

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janamlight says:

      Ahahaha your hashtag is the best!! Dying. Yes! This is for work, thus #free. Part of my job is to raise money for the work my org is doing on Palmyra, and this will be my first time seeing the place I’ve been talking up for months. Ha. As a fellow writer, I know you’ll appreciate how excited I am to get my own words for the experience as opposed to always borrowing others’ (AND OMG I GET TO STAY ON PALMYRA).


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