The View Outside The Window Wasn't All Bad / by Chakriya Phal

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I’m writing this on the couch, surrounded by used kleenex, an assortments of herbal teas, and lit candles. The latter simply there to add some warmth and ambience. I caught a bad cold on the second day of our trip in Utah which meant no hiking something that I’ve been looking forward to for some time. While there were pieces of me that was sad, I was also in deep gratitude for company that understood. I knitted while watching The Ballards Of Buster Scruggs and stared out the window. We stayed at a place the locals called the “ museum house.” The view was breathtaking and wondrous. I didn’t spend my days riddled with FOMO or guilt, I just lapped the scenary. I mean, look at that view!

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There has been a lot of old thoughts lately. What am I doing? Is it enough? Am I happy? The answers to all three are yes, yes, and YES. The problem is I’m looking down at my phone too often to really soak all of life in. It wasn’t till that moment in Utah had I really taken time to stay present. Just breathe. In giving myself permission to rest, I felt alive. But the problem still persist. What to do with all that social media time? I set the phone to turn off instagram once I hit the 1 1/2 hour mark but it also allows me to ignore the limit for the day, and I always hit that very button when asked. So much for self control. However, I did notice that my time on social media while in Utah was significantly lower. I barely touched the phone except to check business emails and put on Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets on Audible. I felt so awake, moving my body without my mind being in a fog. A part of me knows this was because I was away, enjoying myself and not working. But I also know that too much time on social media clogs my brain, causes me to compare, and get anxiety.

So what to do now that the view isn’t as nice? Now that I’m back to the daily grind and tempted to pull out my phone to take a look at what my “friends” are doing? I don’t have the answer but I’m willing to keep exploring it. How do I show up offline and online? How can I make my experience better? Seems like recently, everyone is asking that and there’s no one answer.

A list of things I’m enjoying:

Marlee Grace: I like her. She used to fill my instagram space with her dancing and knitting. She’s still doing that plus other things that are just as exciting. Yes, knitting is exciting but her newsletter is even better.

Project Voice Pod: A podcast spearheaded by women and non-binary folx of the Asian diaspora.

Harry Potter on audible: A whole different experience each time I read the series, watch it, and now listen to it. I’m currently on the second book and while the themes in these books can be dark, my heart is happy catching up with my favorite characters. Apparently there’s a debate on who narrated the series better Jim Dale (American version) or Stephen Fry (UK version). I don’t care to debate on this. Just means I get to listen to the Stephen Fry’s version when I’m finished and enjoy the series all over again.