So far, having a long commute hasn't bothered me at all. More time for podcasts and music is a win as far as I'm concerned.
But if you were to ask me to give you a recap on my podcast consumption every day, I would fail that test more often than not. I wish I could go around impressing people with random trivia and interesting tidbits about every subject under the sun, but my brain insists on letting a lot of that information disappear after a few hours, like it's a dream that quickly fades from memory.
To some extent, it's the same way with books. Books stay with me longer, but it disturbs me how soon I forget even basic plot points. My book nerd ego is wounded every time I can't discuss a book at length, or at least enough to fill the silence of an elevator ride. (Which is why I take the stairs. Anything to avoid elevator small talk.)
I've always prided myself on having a good memory, so the fact that I can't hold on to everything I take in really bothers me. And what does it say about me that I spend so much of my free time on things I'll likely forget? That I love spending my time and mental energy on things that'll disappear? What about all the other non-life-changing experiences I've had that are lost for good? Am I less of the person I should be because I can't rely on my memory baggage to follow me wherever I go, informing every decision?
That last question was the start of bucking me off of my philosophical high horse, although a part of me wants to get back on. I don't like failure. Even if the "failure" is a faulty but human memory.
Because humans aren't designed to remember everything; in fact, it's a mercy that we don't remember every mundane detail of our lives. (Can you imagine how exhausting that would be?) Living in the moment often means engaging in temporary pleasures—basking in something while it's happening, then letting it go when you move on to the next distraction.
And if I'm lucky, the temporary pleasure could become a lasting memory of generalities, if not specifics. For example, I've been in a great period of life where I have the time to indulge in books and podcasts at a rate others would scoff at. The experts would probably tell me I'm ruining my mental health by filling so many silences with media when I should be meditating, but when I think of books and podcasts I think of sunset walks, rejuvenating lunch breaks, relaxing me time, and stimulating drives. These temporary things have become a fixture in my life that I'll surely miss if/when I'm forced to take a step back from it all in order to make room for more "permanent" and life-altering experiences.
If nothing else, I can console myself with the knowledge that what could have been a boring and frustrating morning on Utah roads was a calm and entertaining start to my day. Who knows, maybe my lack of road rage made someone else's day a little better, too.
Some podcast recommendations
I always appreciate it when people I know recommend podcasts to feed my addiction, so here are a few I've been enjoying lately (hopefully ones I haven't already mentioned in previous posts):
- Harry Potter and the Sacred Text—a reread of the Harry Potter series, with each chapter analyzed through a different theme and then analyzed using a sacred practice. It's my favorite HP podcast right now, which is saying a lot.
- LeVar Burton Reads—Spend 40 minutes or so listening to LeVar Burton read a short story to you. What's not to like?
- Nocturne—Stories of the night. Great for nights when I'm restless.
- Tell Me Something I Don't Know—A game show where the contestants try to stump a panel of smart people with obscure but interesting facts.
- The Allustionist—word/language history. Perfect for word nerds.
- fiction/non/fiction—current events paired with a piece of literature that mirrors it.