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When You’re Not Watching The News3 Min Read

When You’re Not Watching the News3 min read


With my declaration on Friday that I was NOT going to watch and read as much news, I asked what I could fill that time with.

Reading was at the top of my list and I did read quite a bit.

I did a lot of other things as well, but boy, I feel like a smoker who was trying to quit, always wanting to reach for “just a little news.”

And I gave in a little here and there.

This week’s goal: Limiting my news reading to 30 mins on WaPo each day and a couple of news-related emails I get.

I know in my heart of hearts I don’t need any more than that to keep up with what’s going on in the world.

What did I substitute for news so far this week?

I completed the book, Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. A truly inspiring and engaging book about how to be present in your life. What makes Holiday’s books so readable are his stories of famous (and not-so-famous people) and how they managed to find peace in their lives.

I started the book Ego is the Enemy, also by Ryan Holiday. Just as, if not better than, the latter. This explores how the egoic mind is the culprit that gets in our way more than anything else. But again, not some boring academic slog. Ryan is one of the world’s foremost experts on Stoic Philosophy and really knows his stuff.

I did an interesting exploration on ChatGPT on three people who I greatly admire: Miles Davis, G.I. Gurdjieff, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I asked about their personal qualities and idiosyncrasies that made them so iconic. And then I asked for the names of others with similar qualities and emerged with ten more remarkable people.

Often we admire people, but don’t really think about what makes them so admirable. This is a quick way to explore who they are in more depth.

Read an article in WaPo about the recent Taylor Swift movie, The Eras Tour, and then watched part of a previous video of The Reputation Tour on Netflix. I really don’t follow current pop music, but that is one amazing performer whose heart seems to be in the right place.

Re-watched the Marvel series, Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Perhaps one of the most satisfying of the Marvel post-movie series. Saw this when it came out two years ago and enjoyed it even more the second time. The most powerful part was the complicated emotional connection (and growth) between the two lead characters. Plus, a lot of kick-ass action!

Did some writing on a series of articles for an online jazz magazine, All About Jazz. It’s called 72 Jazz Thrillers and covers my favorite jazz albums of the past 50 years. The first of 12 articles got more than 7,500 views, so it was gratifying to see that some people actually are into jazz!

Took my two little rascally dogs to the beach in Santa Cruz. There is nothing in the world they enjoy more. They literally explode with excitement when they hit the beach. Yes, dogs do smile!

Anyway, what is pretty damn clear is that there are a whole lot of things that I love to do that are a zillion times more fulfilling and fun than following the news!

So, here’s my question to you: What do you do instead of watching the news?

Cheers, Robert


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