2021 Winds Down

Wow, we are at the end of 2021, and I feel like we should plant our flags in the loamy soil of our souls--our own personal moons. Were you sure we'd get here? 

This year was insane and so difficult, for so many of us, and for so many reasons. No need to list them. But a lot of us suffered and a lot of us watched people we love suffer. The losses are beyond calculation. But it could still be far worse. I'm not here to remind anyone to "think positive" or whatever. I'm sure we are all trying to deal in the ways that suit us best and using the tools we can access. We seem to be on a negative slide, though, and it's pretty terrifying. 

But all is not lost, at least not yet. We can turn most of these things around; we can rest our souls easier, we can feed our inner selves. It's said that well over 50% of us (humans) suffer from some psychological and/or emotional  damage by now and it's no wonder. 

I believe the first step is self care. And the first step of that is to stop the noise. Humans need contemplation, we need quiet, we need love and companionship, and even solitude. We need conversation with family, with friends, with strangers, with ourselves, with our animals. We need a frigging break. How can we know what we need if we shout over ourselves? If we bombard ourselves with noise and notifications and short bursts of random crap, how are we supposed to survive? It's time to apply the brakes. 

We all need to get a grip. 

So how about this:

Turn off your notifications. Just leave the ones you really, actually, want; where a human you know can contact you, and only if you're fine with that. Turn off facebook notifications; turn off the notifications for Instagram, snapchat, twitter, whatever. You can still access these feeds, even if you disable the notifications. If that's cool, maybe turn off email notifications too. If that makes you feel better, you can turn off whatsapp, telegram, signal, we chat, and message notifications next. And put your phone on silent ring. Or Do Not Disturb. Or shut it off--although I admit this is very difficult. 

Just disable a bit at a time; you don't want to worry about what you're missing. Some will laugh and say they did this long ago and that's really awesome and quite impressive. But most of us are stuck in this never-ending loop of bullshit, myself included. Just remember we are giving these giant companies power over us in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. They decide what they feed us, based on their algorithms. Then they see how we react and feed us more. We have become their products. We spend huge chunks of our precious lives following drivel, and it spreads like a cancer through our consciousness. They suck our energy, and manipulate us emotionally. But we can still take ourselves back. We must.

The first step is to reduce our scrolling time. Disable those notifications, so we can decide when to check in and when to check out. Unless there's an active emergency in your life, in the moment, you are not going to miss anything if you take a couple of hours off. Start small if you need to.

There's still a lot of world out there.