About a month ago, I did something I hadn’t done in almost a decade: I started reading the print edition of the New York Times every morning.
You read that right: A 28-year-old working in digital media actually re-subscribed to the dead tree edition of the newspaper.
And here’s one more confession: I really, really like it.
I like that the paper helps me follow what’s happening in the world, and thanks to my new habit, I think I’m as curious as ever about all sorts of subjects. I love that I’m sending along more stories to friends (via email, of course — don’t worry, I’m not cutting out and mailing stories to friends), and I love the conversations that are coming out of those shared stories.
But most of all, I love the 20 minutes every morning of absolute quiet. The TV isn’t on. I’m not distracted by email, or a video shared on Facebook, or whatever just showed up on my phone. That 20 minutes in the morning where I’m reading the paper is my chance to read, be quiet, and think.
I’ve turned to various things over the years to find that quiet. When I lived in San Antonio, I practiced yoga. In Missouri, I worked out like it was my job. But right now, it’s the Times.
Everyone should have that time during the day to shut out the rest of the world and find quiet. The rest of our days are so hectic, and so full of everything. It’s wonderful (and maybe even necessary!) to have a tool that lets you find that peace — even if it’s only for a little while. Those are the minutes that help keep you sane.
I never thought that peace would cost $9 a week and show up on my doorstep wrapped in a rubber band every morning, but I’m awfully glad that it does.
UPDATE: Right after I published this, the Times published a great essay on the importance of time away from our devices. It’s worth reading!
As for that photo at top: That is sadly not my breakfast. It’s from the @mynytimes Instagram account.