As of April 15, I disconnected myself from social media of all types, especially Facebook, to get rid of casual distractions and brain-sucking posting/reply habits. The primary purpose is to devote myself to writing this book that has been hanging over me like a haze and realign my life for health and happiness. The next 50 days are devoted to an average of 2000 words a day as a goal. In the end, the book, pre-editing, will be about 120,000 words. And I’m well on that ride which suspends June 15 when I take off for the US. More about that later.
Having finished SXSW for 2018 with over 850 attendees from my territoryand not needing to get back into that groove until mid-June, I also wiped out the SXSW Pacific Facebook private group and its 400 members which kept me online far too much in the early months leading up to the event. No Instagram or Twitter either, which I’ve never really used even though I have accounts. And I also though while I’m at it that I would cull about 100 contacts from my phone book and unfriend about 50 ‘expired’ Facebook friends.
I thought I’d reactivate my blog here so as to keep in basic touch with my far flung friends, ex wives and galpals, business veterans and the morbidly curious. It proves I’m still alive and I intend to share some portions of chapters as I go along. I removed Facebook as my opening page on Safari and replaced it with philtripp.com to remind me of the mission. Here’s the first week result.
First off, I thought cold-turkeying Facebook would be like coming off online crack. Taking the FB page off of opening page status of the Safari browser on all my computers, tablets and phones made that a lot easier, much like ridding yourself of cigarette packs, lighters and ashtrays if you’re kicking fags. No more notification staring at you, no temptation to just view a few posts or see what your friends are up to. Announcing it two weeks in advance helped because anyone who followed knew of my impending ‘quiet time’ and accepted it. Coming onto my personal webpage on firing up any device, centred me into JOB ONE which was 2000 words a day. That’s about 15,000 keystrokes a day.
As a contrast, my day opens every morning at 4:30 when the alarm goes off with a half hour grace for emails and ablutions before heading out in the pre-dawn darkness for the beginning of the 10.000 steps a day as my exercise goal. It’s only a five minute drive to the Jetty Foreshores Park where I strap on my Nordic Walking poles and start the half-fast strut along the beach, a lightly lit solid flat walkway and then the wooden jetty also bathed in light poles as I walk from dark skies into the pastel dawn colours and patterns. From there, it’s back a slightly different way through seaside bushland and a marina boardwalk, adding another 100 metres each week to extend the daily walk for more exertion. By 6 am, I’m puffed and exhausted and hurl myself in the car after snapping that sunrise for my photo collection before heading home to awaken Jackson and feed him.
If it’s rainy or too damn cold, I opt for an inside stationary recumbent bicycle session looking out the picture window with headphones on and Spotify playlist or iTunes library blasting the tunes for rhythm. Again, I watch the skies transition from inky back to the beginning light, glowing pastels in patterns and finally the searing ball of light tipping over the horizon, signalling another session done. By the time the sun hits the solar air heater in one kitchen floor window and starts the fan spinning hot air indoors, I’ve already fixed and mixed Jackson’s fruit and salad bowl, made my four shot latte to kickstart the day and crafted a healthy sandwich of at least three vegetables–usually lettuce tomato and pickle–to fuel me.
If I start writing about 9am, I kick on the music throughout the house; mid-level in my office where I sequester myself in front of the big screen, more like blast level on the balcony and just plain LOUD in the rest of the house. Today it’s been wall-to-wall Toto and Steve Lukather, yesterday it was Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Shuggie Otis while the previous day was devoted to various incarnations of Ry Cooder.
Because I have solar power and a Tesla backup battery to power my days and nights, I have no trepidation in keeping on six stereo systems in sync from end to end. Dishes and laundry are not an issue in the daytime, I can run the air conditioner on solar and battery for up to six hours. And my grid power bill from Red Energy hasn’t cracked $40 for each of the last two quarterly billings. I feed back just enough solar back into the grid to offset the daily $1.30 fee and sunless days when my battery drains down.
Midway through the day I do my shopping after another Nordic Walk in my choice of a variety of private areas where the joggers and casual walkers don’t go due to their usual early morning treks. After that, a quick hour nap to revive Then at 2pm, I usually devote another hour or two of writing with dinner prep starting at 4pm. A five o’clock meal over the news with Jacko with a half bottle of pinot if I reached both 2000 word and 10,00 step goals and it’s off to the bedroom for some early evening binge watching on iTunes/HBO, Netflix or Amazon/Showtime. Jackson puts himself to bed about 7, my yawns alert me to sleeptime coming shortly so I set my Apple Watch to sleep analysis and snooze the night away.