I found myself watching too much cable TV these past few weeks. One day, I caught myself transfixed to the flat screen, trying to keep up with talking heads discussing Washington political maneuvers, observing political panelists and commentators lamenting, and attempting to foretell events, as if anyone is able predict the next breaking news these days.
What I’ve noticed about myself after tuning is, are the feelings of anxiousness and pessimism I tend to hang on to, for hours after I have clicked off my remote. I’ve become discombobulated by my own opinions about who should go, who should stay, who’s lying, who’s telling the truth, how embarrassed I am, how proud I am, disgusted I am, sad I am, shocked, provoked, and on and on.
I’ve decided to go back to a practice I started about a month ago to order my world, and manage what I allow to occupy space in my head. I call it Ten Pages A Day. I’ve committed to reading from six knowledge areas to help me avoid the dizziness of thoughts and things out of my control. Every day I read ten pages from each book ––to educate me about America’s history, a book to help me think, mostly philosophical reading, a book to inspire me, a book to help me be a better writer, a juicy novel (sometimes this gets more than ten-pager attention), and ten pages from the Bible to nurture my soul and spirit.
I noticed that by adopting this practice, I have better conversations, sleep relatively peaceful, I gain new found optimism, I am more mindful, a little smarter, and acquire the energy I need to concentrate on those things which matter. One of which is working on my own novel. Besides, I can make up as much stuff in those pages as I want, without worrying about the made-up stuff coming out of Washington.