Did not check* Facebook for 2 weeks. This is my first post in a fortnight. Didn’t listen to iPod for 12d. Returning home from Paris after 10 days, everything seemed the same but different.

I know yoga teacher training changed me, more inside than out, and is still changing me. Running the San Francisco marathon also changed me. Finishing without injury, I felt stronger and more self-confident than I ever have.

During my time away in Paris there was so much in the present, so much to be present for, that I barely did anything online or virtual. I took lots of photos. I did check-in to @SwarmApp to keep a log of where I was, what I was doing. I took notes when insights came to mind.

Late at night at the airbnb (while @CSSWG meeting) or hotel (on vacation after) I did check email, and @IndieWebCamp IRC logs / Slack channels, before going to sleep. The +0900 timezone difference from Pacific helped. I created a new article on Wikipedia late one night. For a few days I posted photos and a video to my @Instagram story. Knowing it would disappear I didn’t have to think much about the posts.

Without all those during the day distractions, everything seemed more continuous, uninterrupted. Even taking photos involved the present, and Swarm’s UI/responsiveness has improved significantly, to where you can quickly check-in, maybe add a few photos, and return to what you were doing. Even that is not really a context switch, since it’s literally about what you’re doing, and is a very discrete completeable action, unlike reading a never-ending stream from elsewhere.

I did text/message with a few friends while away. Sharing what I was doing, or perhaps photo, and they would do the same. Rather than distraction, it felt more like connection. Growing something positive, rather than escaping the present.

Not listening to my iPod (or any deliberately chosen music) was perhaps the biggest change. It was easy while in Paris, so much to take in. I was surprised to not feel compelled to listen to it immediately upon returning, on the Lyft ride home from SFO. Nor put music on at home. Or in the car on the drive that afternoon to post-flight yoga.

Yesterday I ran 10.3 miles of Marin trails, alone most of the time, again, without music. I did bring my iPod, but again felt profoundly less compelled to use it, even while running, when I usually find it quite motivating. Even under a quieting blanket of fog, I could still hear small sounds all around me. Nevermind the dirt crunching and sliding with my footfalls.

I did use my iPod later yesterday afternoon, and I think I know why I finally did, but I’m not quite ready to share that insight. I have to reflect on it some more.

Still haven’t checked Facebook. But I kind of have to to post an event to teach yoga today at the Presidio Off The Grid Picnic. Or to check what times would work well. I’ll start with texting/messaging first and see how that goes.


*Exception: I checked the @Nov_Project_SF public Facebook page late Thursday night to see where hills were the next morning (the NP blog usually has the info november-project.com/category/san-francisco/), then overslept (jetlag?) through several alarms and missed it anyway. I did use the Facebook Messenger iOS app, but it’s a separate enough self-contained interface that I consider it distinct from "checking" Facebook, which is more about the feeds, the notifications, the posts about what some other third party is doing/did or outrageous news. All those little endorphin bursts that leave you feeling empty.

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