I lead an infantile life.
Nearly everything I do is devoted to my comfort/pleasure. Even when I’m working, I’m connected to the Internet, so I can take frequent breaks and dive into this well of constant information and entertainment.
Thanks to my iPhone, things that would be chores to most people – the laundro-mat, waiting rooms, etc. – aren’t that dull anymore.
And when I’m not working, I’m reading, watching TV or playing video games. In a given week, I don’t know that I do anything that’s truly challenging.
And at 36, that’s an embarrassing way to live.
So I’m spending this week trying to make some changes.
Change number one: No Twitter. I have two accounts: one for work, one for me. I’m stepping away from the one that’s for me. I even thought about deactivating it, but decided against it. There are people there I’d miss. So I’ll come back to it, and them.
For too long, I’ve used it as a crutch, telling myself and others that it was “the only creative outlet I have, because I’m so busy with work.”
In truth, I’ve been using Twitter as an excuse not to write anything longer than 140 characters.
Don’t get me wrong: I like what I write there. I like that I have followers who told me I’d be missed. And I want to find a way to use the voice/sensibility I developed there and translate it into other things.
But I can’t do that if I’m hitting “refresh” all day.
Change number two: As you might expect, someone who works behind a computer all day and reads/watches TV/plays games all night doesn’t get a lot of exercise.
No one’s going to make fat jokes about me, but there's some paunch.
So this morning, I began running. Well, jogging. Jogging and walking. Mostly walking, but when you haven’t run more than a few blocks in 18 years – I was on the cross country team in high school – even a little bit of jogging feels like a marathon.
I walked, then I ran, in intervals. On the first interval, the running felt drain cleaner in my lungs. On the second, I would have welcomed a heart attack. But by the end, I’d done it.
It was difficult. And it felt better than anything I could have done behind a computer.