Today is my favorite non-holiday day of the year because it is the winter solstice and, of course, the shortest day of the year. To make this day even better, we had the Christmas star in the sky when Jupiter and Saturn were at their closest in over 400 years, and 800 years since this close proximity was viewable in the night sky. I gazed up into the sky and marveled at the vast distances that are simply unfathomable to my mind. These are merely distances between objects within our solar system–itself an almost infinitesimally small portion of the universe. It’s wonderful to witness celestial events like this because it reminds us how our tiny selves are a part of this gargantuan universe.
It’s hard to believe there was one point in my life when I was constantly posting on social media and now I think it’s such a chore. I went about two years without posting anything to Instagram and I post on Facebook only once every few months.
I entertained the thought of using twitter more as a sort of short notes or comments on things throughout my day, but I haven’t been very consistent about that either.
I don’t miss social media much and have really come to enjoy this sort of public journaling. I’ve missed a few days here and there but I can honestly say I’ve considered continuing writing something here every day beyond this 365 project.
I had a very productive day with work today, particularly after dinner. I will attribute that mostly to my afternoon walk today. I love this time of year when the sun is at a low angle, and even the early afternoon feels like a summer evening in terms of the light and the shadows it creates. It wasn’t a particularly introspective walk today, but the sunlight and fresh air really helped relax and reenergize me.
Last night I was ready and looking forward to getting a quick few words in. However, the next thing I remember is waking up sometime after 5 in the morning with my computer open on the bed and not all the lights turned off. I was so exhausted last night after a day of much work. It turns out that today was almost just as busy, but I’m taking some time for writing.
Yesterday, I went on a 3-mile walk. I did not get up as early as I wanted to and had given up on the idea of taking a walk. However, I was overcome with a desire to be outside and wanted to give myself some time for reflection. In the spirit of reflection, I started out listening to a Catholic podcast that focused on finding joy in your life. It had a nice message, but I really wanted just some time to contemplate the scenery and let my mind roam free as well. So I started listening to some traditional Japanese music. It was very peaceful. I then later switched to listening to Gregorian chants. Both of these music styles transported me to different time periods that were simpler and not as fast-paced as the modern world, where everything is competing to steal your attention.
I want to expand a little more on my desire to eliminate the “noise” of the modern world, but it is getting late, and I am frankly tired of staring at a screen all day. So in the spirit of minimizing unnecessary digital noise, I will end it here and read a book before falling asleep.
I’m 218 days into writing every day (not always successfully), and I still have no idea what topic I would pick if I had to choose one. I think the problem is that I want to be able to write about everything and anything, but at the same time, I am so reluctant to make things personal. Could it be that I am a jack of all trades and a master of none? Are my insecurities from my adolescent and young adult life still following me around? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but perhaps I may find them one day if I keep doing this.
Different topics have come and gone over the course of this blog, and they’ve each helped me in one way or another. Writing about my experience as a gay man had its appeal and purpose when I was first coming out. However, I have been blessed extraordinarily, and my sexuality is something I rarely think about these days. Writing about food seems too overdone these days. I was photographing my food and commenting on it on my social media long before Instagram. It was something unique and special. At one point, I had four different friends ask me about restaurant recommendations to take their girlfriends to. It was very flattering and makes me smile even now. But where I once felt like the evangelizer of dining at delicious places, I began to feel like I was just one more voice in a church singing the same hymn. Documenting my fitness journey brought me much joy, and I now look upon that past with nostalgia. So the temptation is once again there to resume that journey since it has been a few years, and I could frankly use the motivation to work out more.
Then there are topics of interest that I haven’t written about. I have only written a handful of times about the performances I attended. This is a favorite subject of mine, and I am thrilled when I can talk to someone about classical music, but these kindred spirits are not common. I have often found myself enthusiastically talking about music only to be met with the disheartening smiles and nods so often feined by people too polite to let you know you’ve exceeded their attention span on the subject. I can vividly remember one instance many years ago where I was describing one of my favorite opera scenes to someone: I was on the verge of tears as I relived the opera’s emotions and stopped myself midsentence when I realized the other person looked disinterested.
The other topic I rarely touch upon is religion and spirituality. I feel that in today’s world, it is worse than coming out as gay. It seems that people who openly profess their faith are stigmatized. There is a certain hypocrisy in a world that claims to be fighting for diversity and inclusivity and yet brands those people of faith as outdated, ignorant, and out of place. The fact is that in our unpredictable and fast-changing world, I am increasingly attracted to the comforts of centuries-old religious traditions. I am far from being a good Catholic boy, but that is a goal that seems increasingly appealing. So I yearn to explore and discover more about religion and spirituality. However, as a new pilgrim on this journey, I don’t feel qualified to write on the subject. More importantly, I feel my journey is still too young and fragile to expose out in the open. I want it to take root and watch it grow. Perhaps I’m just insecure and too afraid to profess my faith.
Journalling on this blog really does serve as a form of therapy for me. After writing all of the above, I feel much better about my writing. I have an idea or two that have started to float around in my mind as a result of this writing exercise.
I really need to start exercising again. I’ve had multiple failed attempts this year and need to build up my routine again. I have been lazy and have blamed the chilly morning and the fear of breathing heavily next to other people breathing heavily if I choose to run. When I dropped lots of weight, I signed up for a boot camp program that had me exercise every morning before the sunrise, logged everything I ate, and really changed my diet.
I was about to hit the publish button on this post when I remembered something I read this weekend, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I guess I’ve kept waiting for magic to happen when I should have been planning instead.
I wasn’t sure what to write about today. I kept thinking about my friend that passed away on Thursday and kept looking at pictures and just trying to make sense of it all. I felt utterly uninspired to write. Instead, I found myself drawn to the piano and played Philip Glass’ Etude No. 5. The above video is the piece I played, although far less polished.