I finally did it:
I got COVID.
I’m currently isolating in my bedroom to avoid getting the kiddos sick. My wife caught it shortly before I did, but her isolation period overlapped with mine in such a way that the kids only had the run of the house for a day or so.
They used that time to watch a lot of Octonauts and play a lot of Minecraft.
My wife used her time in isolation to finally get her pottery website set up. I grabbed some of her tools from the studio so she could sneak down to the basement at night and work on pieces.
I’ve been using my time in isolation to read up on Rene Girard and, of course, write this email.
Time in isolation highlights two things:
1.) How you waste time,
2.) How you invest time.
Wasting time means exactly what you think it does: time spent on social media, time spent mindlessly scrolling, time spent while generating no return in personal growth or joy.
Don’t let me give you the impression that I haven’t wasted any of my isolation time. I have. I’ve spent too much time scrolling through Twitter, particularly…the only social media site I keep around. I deleted the app but I keep opening it up in the browser.
But I’ve also been able to spend time on things that I know will make me better. I’ve been working through my ever-growing pile of books. I’ve been messaging employees and helping them with issues. I’ve been journaling, a lot, on the problems that seem to recur in my business and personal life and where their roots might go.
It’s not all serious; I’ve been catching up on all the movies I wanted to see, but every time I went to watch them I realized they were super long and bailed (namely, Dune and the new Blade Runner).
These kinds of activities either make me better or make my experience of the world better. They enrich me…unlike most social media, which entertains me, but also feels like it takes something out of me in return. Experiences of struggle, or aesthetic enjoyment, stay with me; digital culture not only vanishes immediately upon consumption, but it also needs me to come back to it again and again.
In this sense, isolation is a perfect demonstration of how you spend your time. Everything feels much more obvious when you’re lying in bed rather than moving through the world. I can’t hide from how much I use Twitter; it’s right there in my face, and there’s nothing else to distract me from the fact that I’m distracted.
How easily could you fill an isolation week with activists that enrich you, engage you, or help you grow? If you couldn’t use social media, what would you do?
If you’re not sure, now - before you have to isolate - is the time to answer that question.
We’re all going to get it someday. Might as well make use of it.
COOL STUFF TO READ:
Book summary of Accelerated Expertise, which I'm (slowly) working my way through now. Summary does a great job of bringing out some of the salient points of the book, which is fascinating.
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