Friday Five: Things on My Mind

1.Music. I’ve been listening to Lizzo for a while now on Spotify. Do you know her? You might have heard her song Juice or Truth Hurts. Whether you have or haven’t heard her yet, you may be interested in seeing her show at NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series. Doesn’t her music just make you want to move?

When you’re done moving, and you need to relax, listen to this playlist of relaxing songs. Apparently research has shown that listening to the song Weightless by Marconi Union “resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.”

2. Books. I listened to Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules of Life audiobook over the last couple of weeks. Jordan Peterson is a controversial academic who has risen to celebrity status in the last few years. I have followed his work on and off for several years, and I have kind of sat on the fence regarding my alignment with his ideas. The book, however, was an interesting and informative read. I learned a lot. The section on listening and thinking critically caught my attention and made me think not only about my social interactions but also my work environment. I thought about my own listening skills and what and how I teach at the university.

I also listened to David Sedaris’s Calypso, and I really enjoyed it. I laughed out loud all the way through! And I loved the chapter “Your English is So Good” where Sedaris reflects on curious words and phrases in languages such as Japanese and English. In English, for example, he comments on the word “awesome” and the concept of “upselling” in America. He also comments on the “concern for hydration” and why we carry bottled water everywhere we go. I laughed so much! I listened to this chapter twice!

3. Movies. As you may recall, I have an ongoing list of things to do/see/read/watch from my friends and family as part of my 40th year challenge. One of the movies that was on the list was Goodfellas, so I watched it last week. Oh my goodness – why had I never seen this? I loved it. I liked the character development, the dialogue, the cinematography, and the clothing (hellos 70s and 80s). Have you seen it?

4. Instagram. I’m thinking of taking a complete break from Instagram. I lose track of time when I’m aimlessly scrolling through posts. Recently, I watched a time-lapse video of a blogger/influencer/instagrammer making breakfast and then packing it up for the freezer. Why? Why did I watch it? I didn’t learn anything. I wasn’t entertained. What do you think? Should I give it up for a while? Do you still like it? Are you inspired?

5. Relaxing. I have been making more of an effort to relax (see point 1 about relaxing music). We all know I like to stay busy, but I think I need a touch of downtime in my life, so I stay happy and healthy. Last weekend, I shut off all notifications on my phone (and I have since kept them off), and, to my surprise, it didn’t take long to get comfortable with the lack of constantly-checking-of-the-phone. I’ve also gone through the free 10-day basic meditation series via the HeadSpace app, which seems to calm me down at the end of busy days. Just yesterday, I read this post by Julie Zhou over at Wit & Whimsy about solo rituals, and I love the idea. Zhou’s final comment sums up the solo ritual: “Which is all to say—there’s no one perfect solo ritual! The only rule is this. That for at least a single hour, once a week (ideally), you are not working, not useful, are exuberantly, wildly, radically unproductive. Everything else is, as they say, your party.” Do you have a solo ritual?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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