The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. – Albert Einstein

It’s been about a month since I have written and so I want to make sure I am posting new content to give people a real time idea of what this foreign service life is like for me. I began this post with a quote from Albert Einstein because it is winter here. That means the sun is rising when I go to work and up only about 30 minutes when I arrive home. The temperature rarely gets below 40 but is still a more reserve time for me. I was still able to recently visit the Canyons in Cambara do Sul (this person did a much better blog on it than me. Amazing place!)

(Click on photo to go to the article)

Our Public Affairs Officer and I wrote the above ‘Post of the Month’ article for State Magazine. Was a fun and rewarding process. If you want to know about where I am and what it is like, please read the article. Some real beautiful pictures of the city and region as well.

I am doing Brazilian Ju Jitsu (BJJ) between 1 and 2 times a week with a goal in mind of getting a blue belt before I leave Brazil. It is a phenomenal mental and physical release. Other than that, I just have been hanging out, reading and watching Netflix a lot. Last month I completed a 30 day challenge of no caffeine or alcohol for 30 days. I really felt great and it has made me more aware of how much of each I consume moving forward. I then turned around am currently doing a 30 day no social media challenge. I must admit for administrative/ information/ communication reasons I have checked a few of my accounts but overall have really pulled back.

I recently read a book on how addicted to our phones we are. Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. Then I saw this article last week about how much time we spend consuming some form of media! Then I saw the above piece from CBS Sunday Morning in which I learned about iGen. iGen comes from the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us.

In short, I have already found returning to social media on a daily basis a little anxiety causing. I mean why should I know what an ex is up to or what a guy I went to high school with, but don’t talk to, had for dinner last night or what someone really thinks about our President?! I have just reached the point of being overwhelmed by it all. A “negative net equity” as a close friend said this week. And so I think I will leave my accounts open and running but only check them every once in a while. Once a month seems like a fair goal.

With the time I would be spending on social media, I find myself reading or watching documentaries. Right now I am reading a very intriguing book about the 11 different nations we have in America. It takes a cultural and historical look at who we really are. Fascinating stuff. Click on the book picture to read more about it.

Also this weekend I stayed in and am trying to buzz through one of the most in depth and emotional documentaries I have ever seen. Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War. Very moving stuff if you get the 14 hours to watch it all. So I leave you this Sunday morning with a verse from the Bible that comes to me as I enjoy and reflect in solitude.