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We Are Not Wired That Way + Painful Regret + That Doesn't Last Long in Our House

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,

Thank you for allowing me into your time and space for a bit this morning.

Is the kettle on?

It was a newsworthy week. I am loyal to my words by not bringing politics into the blog.

Here is what is happening with COVID on the Island this week.

Earlier this morning, I finished reading my first book of the year.

Non Fiction: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport published in 2019.

Notables from the book:

“Digital Minimalism A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

“Digital minimalists see new technologies as tools to be used to support things they deeply value—not as sources of value themselves. They don’t accept the idea that offering some small benefit is justification for allowing an attention-gobbling service into their lives, and are instead interested in applying new technology in highly selective and intentional ways that yield big wins. Just as important: they’re comfortable missing out on everything else.”

“We need solitude to thrive as human beings, and in recent years, without even realizing it, we’ve been systematically reducing this crucial ingredient from our lives. Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired.”

“Solitude Deprivation: A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.”

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” Blaise Pascal famously wrote in the late seventeenth century.”

“Three crucial benefits provided by solitude: “new ideas; an understanding of the self; and closeness to others.”

“in many cases, these addictive properties of new technologies are not accidents, but instead carefully engineered design features.”

“It is never too late to give up our prejudices.”

“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.” ~ Edward Gibbon

I read this book with a desire to understand more about the digital world. What it was doing to me, my children and the world around me. The book encourages me to think look at my online habits and remove the time-wasting ones.

The lesson I learned from this book: Use it instead of ‘IT’ using you.

In proportion as a person simplifies his life,

the laws of the universe will appear less complex,

and solitude will not be solitude. ~ Henry David Thoreau

The most 'important to me author' I discovered and read last year was James Clear. His newsletter is "Working to deliver the most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web."

“Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them.

And you don’t have to keep them either.

They keep you.” ―Frank Hall Crane

You may find an excerpt from Chapter Three of his million-seller book, Atomic Habits and rewarding article to read. How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick.

“We must all suffer one of two things:
the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” ~ Jim Rohn

I love this story as told by Kris Bowers and his grandfather Horace Bowers. Kris, a virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer. He and his grandfather share with us his family's lineage from Jim Crow Florida to Walt Disney Concert Hall.

I hope you enjoy A Concerto is a Conversation as much as I did.

These times are anxious times. I think of our dear friends, brothers, sisters, cousins in and from the US. Tears flowed this morning while I listened to Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Two versions for you. Which one is your favourite?

#1 Art Garfunkel

#2 John Legend

With love from Prince Edward Island,

Take care of each other and have a weekend of peace.


Bruce & Mille

ps. Your Morning Smile

Our neighbours gave us a pumpkin pie as a holiday gift. As lovely as the gesture was, it was clear from the first bite that the pie tasted bad. It was so inedible that we had to throw it away.

Ever gracious and diplomatic, my wife sent the neighbours a note. It read: "Thank you very much for the pumpkin pie. Something like that doesn't last very long in our house."

Previous article Happy News + Rewilding + Magicians Dilemma


althea - January 9, 2021

Hey, Bruce. Congrats. Nine days. First book. Meaning you may/can read 30 books this year! (lol. Just I being mischievous!). Seriously, fab blog, from gorgeous tree to mischievous end. Much love and hugs.

Elaine Chessman - January 9, 2021

What a beautiful morning! Just came in from snowshoeing . How lucky are we to live on this beautiful Island but especially during these trying times. Like many, I am really missing close family members because of travel restrictions . Reading your blog is a lovely way to spend part of my day. Loved the Kris Bowers story and Bridge Over Troubled Water is one of my all time favourites! Really enjoyed John Legend’s version as well. Thanks for sharing

Brenda Gionet - January 9, 2021

I enjoyed all the comments on solitude. I need and am practicing it and this enables me to “slow down” in life, not to be running all the time. We sold our house and “moved in town” (Halifax) so everything is right there. Thanks for the reminders. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Heather - January 9, 2021

Hey Bruce,
It sounds like you picked the best book of 2021 to read!
Thanks for posting both Simon and Garfunkle’s and John Legend’s version of Bridge Over Troubled Water; both are beautiful. Austin’s birthday was three days ago, on 6 January…listening to the words of Paul Simon right now is a balm. Thanks for the comfort. Cheers and happy new year to you and Shirley, the family and Mille the pup. Nice snow out now for a good winter’s walk, wha?

Tony Rizzuto - January 9, 2021

Thanks Bruce – times are tough down here in the states in more ways than one – listening to Art Garfunkle (no one compares!) took me way back and reminded me of all we went through in the 60s as well – and survived. We’ll make it through this as well!

Carol Prickett - January 9, 2021

When the digital world brings your blog – with just the right wisdom and focus I needed this morning – I bless it! Have a good week and congratulations to PEI for being in good health.

Zyna in Winnipeg - January 9, 2021

Well Bruce, a lovely blog on this foggy (!) Winnipeg morning.
The Bowers – ‘Granddaddy’ and grandson. What a gift they are to one another. Inspirational.
AND ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ ? Well, we grew up on the Simon and Garfunkel version…
but this wasn’t it. AND Garfunkel alone does not hold a candle here to John Legend!
That rendition was truly powerful. One man. One piano . He hardly glanced down while accompanying himself.
He meant every word, and hid audience sang with him. Now THAT’S a performance. It was a shared experience,
and that is the true measure of performance.
As always, Bruce, ‘soul food’ . Thank you!
Onwards into 2021. Warts and all!
Blessings be!…Z

Mary - January 9, 2021

Thank you for the interlude of beauty and calm. Much needed. Definitely Art!

Wendell Hennan - January 9, 2021

Thank you for the introduction to John Legend, what a beautiful talent, don’t know why I had never run across him before.

I just finished Blood in the Water by Silver Donald Cameron, that I think you might enjoy Bruce. A documentary of a murder trial in Isle Madame, Cape Breton in 2013 but he wanders through the Acadian history, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia politics, rise and decline of industry in Cape Breton, the fishing industry, and even touches on the horrific Catholic Church scandal in Newfoundland. Underlying in all of his wanderings, is an understanding of humanity and what makes life in Arachat and for that matter in most of the Maritimes so rich and warm.

Sue Skeffington - January 9, 2021

Our mother taught us never to lie nor would she ever lie for us, that being said, how one interprets a phrase or comment one has no control over!

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