Continuing in exploring what got added into 2022 that made a difference I want to note that 2022 was the year that I became a big user of Youtube. I added “Youtube Music” to my life a couple years ago and found that to be amazing. At that time I occasionally watched/listened to a youtube video, but this year the videos really became a part of my tool kit. What do I mean when I say that?
I have three definite and practical needs in my life, I need help getting to sleep after episodes of being awake in the night, I need interesting things to occupy my mind, I need to be exposed to stuff that touches my heart. Listening (not watching) to Youtube videos has been a tool I have become used to using in my daily life to meet these three needs.
Last night I woke up at about 2am, some discomfort nudged me from sleep. My brain switched on. I am not done reckoning with the impact of a very random fire starting in our yard a couple weeks ago. Anxiety that is out of proportion to the risk at hand is my companion in the dark. I could not settle my thoughts. So I opened my phone, turned to Youtube and began listening to a podcast about intermittent fasting. Dr. Jason Fung does videos that are calm in their presentation, they give me stuff to tune into that has no emotional impact for me, no confusion and no worry. That seems to be the recipe for helping me let go of my thoughts and drift off into another world. At one time I might have been awake for a couple hours, dancing with my thoughts, but this tool of using youtube, and especially Dr. Fung, seems to be the recipe I need. Youtube really helped me sleep alot better in 2022.
When I was a kid a man named Peter Gzowski had a morning radio program. The warm and inviting nature of it I remember. When the program was no longer offered, due to Gzowski’s health I think, there were tribute programs aired. I have not forgotten hearing housewives across Canada talk about how much it meant to them to have Peter Gzowski be their radio companion as they tackled their morning routines in their homes. I was jealous of that when being a woman with morning routines became my destiny. We have never had good radio reception where we live. I never had a consistent reliable thing I could listen to, and especially something as engaging as “This Country in the Morning.” I remember buying a Sirius Satellite Radio about ten years ago and just about crying as I scanned the lineup, wondrous that I might have access to interesting programming. I didn’t end up hooking it up. I sold it eventually. I think the installation was too much for me to get my head around and Russ was always busy back then and not tech-y either. I would end up with a different Sirius radio a few years ago, which we managed to install pretty easily. I didn’t use it much though, beyond music. Then Youtube came into my world. I was stunned by the content options. I could listen to interviews with my favorite actors and actresses. I discovered a love for people I had only ever heard of, like Maya Angelou. I could stretch my heart and mind. Now every single day I turn on a youtube video and learn something new while doing laundry and dishes. My bluetooth headphones and I roam the house and with the help of our new Wifi (another gift of 2022) I have almost seamless access to stuff that stretches my brain. For example, this afternoon I was listening to a podcast about gut health, the microbiome and how important that is for longevity. It gave me more food for thought. I found myself thinking lately that I am the modern version of those women of the 1970s and 80s who found their lives made more interesting by the chance to listen to Peter Gzowski’s programs. That made me happy.
I guard my heart pretty closely. It has been through alot of tumult in recent years and I think twice before turning on content that might unsettle me. For example, although Brene Brown is an amazing speaker with very grounding content, I could not listen to her for the longest time. Too much truth maybe? However, over time I have found myself tuning into more and more that might touch my heart. One thing leads to another. I noticed a path when I stopped to think about how I became the youtube user that I am.
-My Mom loved Stephen Colbert. When I stayed with her we usually watched him. I came to know that I liked him. I knew I could take in his stuff and feel good. So when Youtube became a thing for me, I always looked up Stephen Colbert.
-After enjoying Colbert I found myself curious. What else is out there? I tuned into Jimmy Kimmel and I liked him too. Who was this Trevor Noah guy that came up in my feed after that? I listened to him. I started to really really appreciate Trevor Noah. I looked up his stuff that wasn’t part of his late night show. It turns out he is a comedian with a serious gift and a bright mind. Making buns is a lot more fun when it can be done while listening to insightful humor. One thing led to another and recently I got to hear Trevor Noah interviewed by some thoughtful people. I learned about his Mom and her habit of using her Bible every day. That inspired me to do better with that. I learned about a different key lesson that his Mom taught him that I think about every day. I was offered the chance to listen to him being interviewed on a podcast called “Diary of a CEO”. It was another exceptional, thoughtful conversation. That led me to listen to more “Diary of a CEO” episodes and listen to other conversations that touch my heart and inform my thinking. A man named Gabor Mate has been in my Youtube feed on and off for months. From my previous schooling I knew that his stuff was deep and addressed struggle head on. I avoided his videos. Last week I clicked on one for the first time. I think this might represent some healing in my own heart. It was good for me. It is all good for Russ too. Almost every day Russell comes home and I have some interesting tidbit to tell him about. I think he appreciates what I share with him.
2022 was plenty hard however the addition of all this video content to my life has been a gift. Maybe it has helped me cope. It all makes me wonder, what filled the thoughts of Ma Ingalls and many of my ancestors like her. How strong they must have been to have thrived amid the isolation of early days on the prairie.
I have included links to some of the videos my thoughts return to again and again.