Latest posts by Daria Silter (see all)
- Busy, Noisy, Fast-Paced – What’s Your Quality of Life? Vol. 4 - April 20, 2018
- Don’t. Turn. On. The. Lights. Vol. 3 - April 13, 2018
- The Race Issue. Vol. 2 - April 6, 2018
April 20, 2018
On a scale of 1 to 10, how tired do you usually get during an average week? Well, for me this week was a definite 10. My husband and I started this huge project, of which I can’t really talk much yet, and it had sucked all my mental and physical energy. So, I am surely looking for the upcoming two-day weekend to lift up my feet, grab an absorbing book, mag, or the New York Times’s voluminous Sunday edition in one hand, and a cup of delicious French Vanilla latte in the other, and… relax.
It’s a common fact that rest is important. No one argues about that. But when you live in a big city, with a constant noise be it from honking cars, yelling (or partying in the wee hours) neighbors, screaming children, beeping delivery trucks, it is much harder to find a quiet time. And when things add up, and by “things” I mean work, school, chores, deadlines, assignments, daily tasks, appointments, meetings, and reminders – it’s so easy to get dangerously close to a complete burnout.
I mentioned last week that I started reading this captivating book, about a man who spent twenty-seven years living in the woods. Alone. In a tent. And while I was mainly interested to see if he had encountered anything “paranormal” like Bigfoot or any other wild creatures (he did not, at least it was not mentioned in the book), the conversation slowly drifted to a whole new topic. That of solitude, and how important it is to… spend some quality time alone with nature, on a regular basis.
Looking for a “cheap thrill,” I actually stumbled onto something much bigger – a reminder about how important it is to lead a full life. While “full life” might actually mean different things to different people, in its bare form it stands for living your life to the fullest (pun intended) – with all five senses in tune and complete harmony with the outside world.
Taking a moment to enjoy the smell and taste of an early morning coffee, sitting down on a bench for a few minutes on your lunch to observe the pulsating social life in a local neighborhood, letting go of the worries on your walk to the car and instead concentrating on something positive – well, there are countless ways, examples, and opportunities to switch your mindset to a “recharge” mode.
Surely, taking off to the woods to get away from the noise and other humans for twenty plus years (or even a year, or heck, even a month) is a bit of an extreme example, finding a quiet moment in the every-day life should not be that difficult, yet it is extremely vital.
I am no mental health or stress management expert (yet), but it doesn’t take a genius to notice that constant stress, noise, and other daily pressures can quickly add up and take a toll not only on your body and mind but also on your spiritual/mental health as well. And what is stress if not the “work, school, chores, deadlines, assignments, daily tasks, appointments, meetings, and reminders” tightly squeezed into the finite hours of a seven-day week?
On top of it all, for some of us, who are commonly defined as “introverts,” even talking to other people all the time can be a huge burden. And when you’re in a relationship or married – it’s practically impossible to avoid conversations altogether.
So, what do you do?
I don’t know yet. I haven’t figured it out. It’s a challenge, and it’s a tough one. However, one thing I know for sure is that I definitely understand where that “stranger in the woods” was coming from.
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What’s new: starting this week, I will nominate one article as the “Article of the Week.” The winner will be announced at the end of the reading section and will be picked based on the following criteria: the article’s impact on furthering our understanding of the modern World. It could be a critique, an investigative reporting, a profile of an emerging trailblazer, commentary on social issues, or any other type of gripping content.
What am I reading this week?
- Black Eyed Children by David Weatherly
This book is definitely not for everyone. It’s one of the scariest and creepiest nonfiction books that I’ve ever held in my hands. So, what’s it about?
Well, apparently there’s this mystical phenomenon commonly known as “Black Eyed Children/Kids” (BEC or BEK). Numerous ordinary people have encountered these strange creatures, who usually knock on one’s door (be it a house, an apartment or even a car window), politely demanding to be let inside.
People who encountered these creatures (they usually travel in a pair) described them as “young children or teenagers, wearing beat-up jeans and a hoodie covering their head, or some very old-fashioned, disheveled clothes.” At a first glance, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about these “kids.” Then why, all of a sudden, the person who opens the door is paralyzed with a wave of inexplicable fear?
The answer (which leads to a thousand other questions) lies in their eyes…
- 40 Gulls Ravaged His Room. 17 Years Later, a Pepperoni Pardon (The New York Times)
A short and intensely amusing story about one man’s misadventures in a luxury hotel. If this doesn’t make your day, I give up.
- Outrage for Some, for Others It’s Just Everyday Life (The New York Times)
Two men come into a Starbucks, sit down at a table awaiting a meeting with another friend. One man gets up to ask a Starbucks’ employee for a key to use the restroom. Since they did not order anything yet, the employee refuses to provide the man with the key and then asks them to either buy something or leave the coffee shop. When the men refuse, the employee calls the police. Police arrives quickly – handcuffs and arrests the two men.
Wait. Why? For what? They didn’t do anything!
Well… because of their skin color (they are black.)
Unfortunately, this episode is just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of similar stories, treatments and encounters reported by other black people around this Pennsylvanian community (and heck, all over the country).
An Article of the Week: 🏆
- ‘They Eat Money’: How Graft Enriches Mandela’s Political Heirs (The New York Times)
While the black South Africans finally got their right to vote in the form of a democracy (and the abolishment of the wicked apartheid), the economic situation tormenting the country is unfortunately far from over. This eye-opening piece not only sheds a harsh light on the surreal inequalities, government corruption, instability, and the widespread poverty among its most vulnerable (black) citizens but also depicts Mr. Nelson Mandela, the country’s venerable leader, as a complicit participant in South Africa’s post-democratic mayhem.
“While Mr. Mandela is still revered in the West, his legacy is regarded more critically in South Africa, especially by some young black youth.” Read the article to find out why.
📕📗📘 Book Subscriptions:
Book of the Month
As the name suggests, this fun book subscription delivers the latest and the “hottest” books on the market. You can pre-select yours from five different genres, and you can even skip a month if you don’t like their latest offerings. The monthly subscription includes one new hardcover book at a low rate of around $16 (including the shipping cost), and if you sign up this month and use this code at check out: YESPLZ, you’ll get to choose one free book as a gift (for yourself).
My Thrill Club!
For the lovers of thrillers, mysteries, and all things horror, this awesome monthly subscription will deliver two carefully-picked (sometimes an award-winning) hardcover books plus either a DVD or an audiobook. You can select from the three genres (crime & mystery; thriller & espionage; horror), or you can choose to “Surprise Me” (that is — you) which means that you can get one of the three randomly picked choices each month (if you can’t decide between the three, like me.) P.S. I received the “Mystery” selection this month:
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So, what do you do to relax? 🍹🌿🏖