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when you think you've seen everything, you'll find we're living in days like these

January 14th, 2022

The Red Chuck Précis

(Weekly lyrics from Low/Days Like These

 

We're back!


Happy 2022, everyone!


I had a realization this morning as I wandered my snowy garden with our dog, Alice, sipping on some coffee, and soaking in some nature. The realization isn't important, but that I had it is.

I've made a habit of morning walks, wherever I am, regardless of weather. If I'm on one of my remote work days, it's as simple as firing up the coffee maker, calling for Alice in her perch by the window, and tromping out back into what counts for wilderness in a neighborhood like mine. If I'm in my office on campus or elsewhere, there are still plenty of options; nature is everywhere, even in a city. I find a body of water or even just the sidewalk with the most trees. The sky is everywhere out there, so you've always got that going.


These wanderings serve multiple purposes. While I was once an accomplished meditator, I've struggled with it in recent years, but I've found an alternative in these walks that creates a similar mental space. They give me a chance to calmly approach the rest of my day, after having considered my to do list and goals. The "productivity" lost in these 20 minutes or so of not working are more than made up by the clearing of my mind and the focus created. It reminds me that checking off every item on the To Do List just isn't that important, which in turn reminds me of the podcast I shared last year from Life Kit about time management. It's all about giving yourself a break on your expectations for yourself. It's also good just to move your damn body.


I wander without much purpose, both in my movements and in my thoughts. And, quite often, I'll have a realization. It might be the solution to a problem that's been plaguing me or a creative revelation for an old project that's stalled or an idea for a new project. A lot of times it's realizing something about myself, a seemingly obviously need or trait that's been there the entire time, the knowing of which changes how I move through the world in a healthy way.


Wind, rain, snow, whatever. I don't let them stop me, because the mental value is too high to miss out. And it's kinda cool and adventurous to get out there into the thick of it.


Give it a try. Let me know how it goes for you.


Your first Mix Tape of 2022 is below, along with some links and reads from the recent weeks.


Take care!


-Justin


 

Made You A Mix

Weekly Virtual Mix Tape: January 14th, 2022



The Red Chuck Weekly Virtual Mix Tape playlists are a collection of ten songs I've been listening to this week, crossing genre, era, and taste. No themes, just the tunes I've been sticking in my ears lately.


Available on Spotify, Apple Music, & YouTube.


Support those bands on Bandcamp or their websites by purchasing that music.



 

Made You A List

A collection of links & reads I've been sticking in my brain the past week.


NPR: 6 in 10 Americans say U.S. democracy is in crisis as the 'Big Lie' takes root

This is a gut punch, especially as we all just go about living our lives like things are normal.


NPR: NPR sues the Pentagon for info on possible civilian deaths during the Baghdadi raid


LA Times: Column: Leaked SoCal hospital records reveal huge, automated markups for healthcare

“I understand that hospitals have overhead,” the nurse told me. “But to mark up something like sutures by 675% is insane.”


Pop Culture Happy Hour: The (not-so) secret second life of your Amazon returns

I'm not anti-capitalist, but I'm definitely pro-we-need-to-fix-capitalism. This is one of the many reasons.

"stuff that's so cheaply made it's not worth trying to resell"


Michigan Radio: Michigan State Police acknowledge racial disparities in traffic stops


Like Kit Podcast: Creativity can't be forced. Take breaks and zone out to find new inspiration


South Bend Tribune: Ice and wind create sandy 'hoodoos' along Lake Michigan in St. Joseph

Sometimes you just have to disconnect from the world and go check out some hoodoos.


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The Red Chuck Précis is a weekly blog including my recent thoughts, a virtual mix tape playlist (available on Spotify, Apple Music, & YouTube), and a list links, reads, & other interesting things I've found from around the Web.