Why don’t you start intermittent fasting? I use to be a militant calorie counter because it worked wonders, but I soon became exhausted of the constant calculations and the feelings of guilt that overwhelmed me when I weighed out thirty grams of peanuts instead of twenty-eight. It works for some people, and it certainly worked for me, but it also about drove me to the brink of madness. Now I’m intermittent fasting and getting the same results and honestly feeling wonderful. I fast for eighteen hours between eating periods and then once a week I fast for thirty-six straight hours. Admittedly, this sounds extreme, but to my delight, it was a breeze. If anything, I felt healthier, more alert, and ready to take on the world. It was weird.
Why don’t you learn about white privilege and how it impacts others? The protests and riots that have broken out across the country have made a lot of people think deeply about this issue. At the same time, a lot of people have not thought deeply at all and proudly deny the existence of their white privilege. This conversation is not one I’m a pro at, but I’ve been hyper aware of this insidious issue for the past few years. I’ve been confronting it in myself, but I know there is still so much that I don’t even know I need to learn. I don’t hold racist views, but my silence has been damaging to others. I don’t remember who said it, but a phrase that lingers on my mind is, “White Silence. Black Violence.” It’s hard to admit that it’s true. And it’s hard to admit when you truly believe you are a fundamentally good person. One of the most difficult tasks we all have to confront is an examination of ourselves without a filter. Only when we start to understand our role can we start to undo the damage of centuries of systemic racism against people of color, but specifically against Black Americans. It doesn’t take a genius to see that we still have so far to come as a country. I won’t say to “fulfill our destiny” because that destiny was written by a bunch of rich white dudes who owned slaves and denied the vote to women. We were never a city on the hill.
Why don’t you find yourself a new hobby? Without meaning to, I’ve suddenly become a collector of original movie posters from my absolute favorite genre, Grande Dame Guignol. These films are about elderly fabulous actresses who are put in horrifying situations like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Lady in a Cage, Who Slew Auntie Roo?, Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte, Strait-Jacket…I could go on for days. I’ve been having such fun going on eBay and looking for the posters of my favorites. It’s so charming to have a poster hanging in my house that used to hang in Los Angeles at a theatre on La Brea. Who knows who might have passed it by all those years ago? It’s given me something new and thrilling to preoccupy my time with.
Why don’t you buy yourself a battery powered weed whacker/eater/whatever you want to call it and get out some aggression? The benefits of this suggestion are manifold, reader. You feel like you’re actively saving the planet by using something rechargeable, and you get out frustration at the lazy landscaping habits of your ancestors. Let me tell you, I have weed whacked for MILES. I almost truly believe that it has helped my mental health. Not almost, I realize, I do believe that. Weed whacking saved me.
Why don’t you search for an app that will enhance your hobbies? I recently found one called HieroglyphicsPro (don’t love the name, by the way, at all, or the overuse of the papyrus font, but I’ll get over it) that is just absolutely sensational. If it had been available to me when I was younger, I think it would have made me pass out with delight. It allows you to type in hieroglyphic inscriptions and see translations from various Egyptological dictionaries. Not everything is there, of course, but it is such a tremendously beneficial resource! It’s worth so much more than it costs. It is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. It fills me with the same delight that one of the first Paris Metro apps gave me. I couldn’t get over it. It felt like the epitome of what it meant to live in the future. This feels just like that!