27 Nov

I think I have mountain sickness. I don’t know if that’s a real thing, but you know how dizzy and disoriented you feel after having been on the water for a while? I’ve been traveling through the mountains near Asheville, NC this week, and now that I am home I feel all weird and woozy and wobbly.

While I was up there though, I was visiting one of my sisters, who moved to the area a year ago on Thanksgiving. On that day in 2022, they were still unpacking and had to eat Walgreens Hot Pockets for their first holiday meal in their new home! These two little sweeties kinda look like fluffy ham and cheese hot pockets were the first things I saw when I walked through the door last Tuesday night.

This was the first November in many years, well over a decade I guess, that I got the opportunity to see and feel November-things. Brittle patches of dead wildflowers waiting for frost; fallen leaves, soggy and softly rotting on a  hollow log; a long-empty birdhouse amongst bare-limbed trees, scratching at the sky. I knew my own bare limbs would need a bit of extra swaddling in the dropping temperatures, so before we left for our trip, I knit up a pair of mitts with berry-like bobbles in a blood-warming shade of mulled wine.

So. As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, I took a bit of a break from social media. I deleted the apps on my phone and logged out of everything on my desktop, and for fourteen days I unplugged from the dopamine mill. I stayed away a little longer on TikTok because it felt so ridiculously nice! I’m gently easing myself in, and I’m not going to spout any sanctimonious baloney about it, but I will say that after about five days or so, I started to feel so much less pressure to feed that perpetually hungry machine an endless litany of “I exist! Look at me! Please don’t forget about me!” pieces of my soul…and I think that was a good thing.

And what do you know? With my face not jammed into my phone all the time, I knit more, I did some baking (that’s a pumpkin chocolate cake from Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes, above) and I finished my 200-book 2023 Goodreads challenge with a whole month and a half to spare! It was not my intent to “be more productive” during this time, but it’s crazy how much time I waste on endlessly scrolling to nowhere–and it was nice to reclaim a little bit of that time back for myself.

Of course, there’s the part about being more present and engaged in your relationships and conversations, and all that’s great too…but you know the extra time for reading is the part I am gonna be the most excited about!

It’s been a while since I have done one of these “Currently” blog posts, and I apparently don’t know how they work anymore or what I’m supposed to talk about. Maybe I don’t have anything to talk about. We got a new car, a pumpkin-colored Suburu (this is a big deal, both mine and Yvan’s vehicles are close to 20 years old!) And speaking of colors, my hair is deep purple now!

I’ll wrap it up with two recommendations: I watched a fantastic show called Deadloch, a Tasmanian murder mystery described as “Broadchurch, but make it funny.” And lastly, I just finished The September House, which may have been one of the most fun and unique haunted house stories I have ever read (which reminds me, now that I am back on Instagram, I am going to look up the author and convince her to be my best friend) (is that weird??)

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Emera says

Congratulations on the peaceful unplug, and thank you for the beautiful photos! I may have to warm up some pumpkin bread after seeing that cake...

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