There are times when I listen to two or three hours of podcasts a day and I learn from them. I usually listen when I am cooking and when I am walking. For several weeks now I have hardly listened to any podcasts. This is for three reasons.
The first of these is that I spend two to four hours studying a day, so when I go for my walk I think I have listened to the point of saturation and now I’m ready for a change of ideas. Recently whilst walking I spent days reading Gulag by Anne Applebaum and I learned a lot about the Gulag, about its history, it’s pervasiveness in society and more. I also learned about some of the cruelties that people did not try to stop. Cruelties such as the mass rape of women on prisoner ships.
The second reason is more pleasant. I have been cycling more, and rollerblading. I never listen to anything when I am cycling for two reasons. The first is that the wind is too loud, so anything you listen to would be hard to understand anyway. The second is that I also rollerblade and with rollerblading it’s entirely based around my need to be fully focused. I haven’t done this sport for years and my subconscious is being lazy. My conscious is stuck doing all the work so I want to keep my focus free.
The third and final reason is that I am socially exhausted. I went from weeks at a time with five minutes of conversation, or less. to several hours of not being alone. The transition has encouraged me to enjoy walking without podcasts, to cycle and to just daydream rather than ingest information.
Due to society’s desire to live with COVID, rather than Zero COVID introverts, people between contracts, single people and others have been forced to adapt to solitude. The adaptation was painful. I fear that I have now transitioned to the opposite side. I am happier when I spend 10 minutes to half an hour with people, rather than hours at a time. I know that I will transition back to absolute solitude soon enough, and that if I lose my habits of solitude I will really suffer with loneliness.
Recently my happiest days are where I am left alone to study, do my daily sports, cook and eat when I want and live my routine. I hate weekends and holidays during this pandemic. The reasons that I used to love them, are now gone, until COVID zero.
Society was selfish and stupid to go for living with COVID, rather than COVID zero.