It is not strange to be in another country, far away from the US on this day. It is a blessing.
Being as busy as we are here, we have time to be only peripherally aware of the goings on in the US. We do, of course, hear about the mass shootings pretty much right away- internet feeds are filled with that news. One of my dear friends spent the 4th registering Orlando residents to vote. That was a bit of good news. I am grateful not to have been in the US for the 4th. Celebrating would have felt wrong. I rarely celebrate the day in any given year, but this year is particularly difficult. It was a relief to be spared the hypocrisies and platitudes.
Here in Prague, we are largely disconnected from the US as well as friends and family. But the opportunity to power down the phone, the iPad, the laptop and only check in once a day is kind of amazing. I wonder how difficult it will be to keep up that practice after I return to the states? It is a great tool for facilitating focus. When I was in my writing fellowship in Scotland, we had little to no connectivity at Hawthornden Castle. It was great. We had to hike in to town to a cafe to use our devices. That break- as this break- really became important to me. To not be on Facebook several times a day. It was great! I wasn’t worried that I was living my best life, like everyone else on FB seemed to be doing. No FOMO. No comparisons.
Try it for yourself- maybe a week? Or even 24 hours, if a week is too scary.