"Watch TV? Another egregious Sarah Jessica Parker movie embodying every cliched grievance uttered by its target female demographic?" Insert shudder here.
It's the New Year, and aside from endeavouring to be more vulnerable in my relationships, I have become acutely aware of my need -- not desire, mind you -- but profound need to write. And, perhaps arguably more importantly, my need to read.
My head is a flurry of activity of the most lucrative nature these days. Driving for my dad over the past few months, I haven't had to worry about where my rent or groceries would be coming from. It's been hard, time consuming work, but it's paid off -- both monetarily and personally.
With a bit of financial freedom, my headspace has been cleared of the usual questions: "What will I do for work? Why can't I ever find satisfaction in my job? What am I going to do with my life? What should I be writing right now?" With all that wide open real estate within my rather large polish cranium, more productive seeds have been pushing their roots deep within the fissures of my brain.
A recent guest on CBC's Q -- hosted by this country's finest radio personality, Jian Ghomeshi -- has helped crystallize my epiphany, and here it is: I waste too much time consuming a high-fat info-diet.
According to his guest, Clay A. Johnson, we are constantly digesting information, whether online or on our drive to work. Much in the way vegans choose to maintain a pure diet, Johnson argues in his new book, The Information Diet, we ought to turn away from the unhealthy temptations of our info-diet, instead pursuing leaner options. Seek information out at its source, he argues, rather than listening to the news outlets that tell us what we want to here. In so doing, feel the benefits of a healthier, more balanced approach to engaging with the information around us. Kind of like giving up McDonald's for garden fresh veggies.
|The gut-truck I drive in Edmonton.|
I've been rolling this idea around my mellowed brain since the interview aired earlier this week, and it's been resonating like a pebble plopping in a cave pond. "If I want to write, I have to read. I have to write, I want to read." Simple logic, right? Thanks, LSAT prep course, for helping me see it so clearly.
So tonight, I chose info-veganism instead of defaulting to another horrible movie or endless hours clicking on Facebook and Twitter (not creeping though, I swear...). I picked up a copy of the book I've been loving but overlooking as of late in favour of a greasy rom-com. I lay on the ground in a comfortable, hip-opening stretch, and I read. But that wasn't it. I -- wait for it -- turned off my cell phone's ringer (also inspired by a Q segment this week).
I burned through a sizeable chunk of my book, and loved every word. Each turn of the page rustling under my fingertips was infinitely more delectable than yet another SJP sex scene in New York.
And then, a miracle: I felt like writing. I'm sure yogis around the world broke out their harmoniums in celebration, and my fingers kept time, pulsing over my keyboard as I wrote and wrote. Why didn't I do this last night? Not to create a Full House moment here, but it really feels now like all is right in my heart and head, and it's thanks to choosing to trim the fat from my info intake in lieu of doing what I need to.
As Johnson is quoted on CBC.ca, "Everyone's already on an information diet. The question is, is that information diet healthy for you and is it providing a good outcome for you?"