Reintegration Everyday, 1 Second at a Time

“Have I even done anything today?”

This thought was all too common during my first few months as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  Being thrust into a new community, in a new country, with the oh-so-specific guidance to “integrate” for two months, can lead to us Type-A Americans feeling a bit down about our lack of accomplishment.

But I’m not in the Peace Corps anymore.  I’m back in the states, trying to get back into the swing of “American” life.

It’s funny how similar readjustment to US culture can be to the initial adjustment to a foreign culture. Thinking back to early in my Peace Corps service, I realized that journaling and blogging helped me gain perspective; it made me feel like I was taking advantage of my time.  Even if I didn’t do it as much as I wanted to, it was still helpful.  I had things to share, about Nicaragua, about the transition, about how life is like in another part of the world.

But I’m not in the Peace Corps anymore.  What is special or interesting about my life?  And what am I doing with my time?

Life.  Readjusting.  Moments with friends and family I dearly missed. Enjoying the summer. Reading. Yard work. Gardening. Parties. Summer camps.  When I paused to reflect, I realized there were an infinite number of small things happening that I loved, that mattered, even if they didn’t necessitate a 500 word blog post.  So how could I capture and share this special, yet simple, time of life?

Enter 1 Second Everyday This awesome app has been the perfect remedy for my social media lethargy, and helps me feel like I’m documenting this unique period of readjustment while not taking time away from actually living and experiencing it.  As the name implies, it’s helps you record and edit 1 second of video a day, with an end goal of having a 6ish minute long video at the end of the year to help you recap your life, to see the moments in time pass by and help us grasp the slow transitions from one year to the next.  It’s simple, yet powerful.  It’s easy, yet profound.

I’ve found that working on this project has made me more intentional and aware during my day.  Knowing I have only 1 second to capture the essence of a day keeps me on the lookout for moments that matter. This can range from the mundane (reading a good book) to the memorable (capture a bridal party jumping photo at a wedding I officiated). I feel more grounded knowing I have a record of this time of life. Being more grounded gives me the space to reflect internally and the time to readjust before jumping back into our blog here with more formal posts and redefining what we write about.  1 Second Everyday is allowing me to lean into this time, to experience it for what it is, to live.

I would’ve loved to have taken a video of 1 second everyday during my Peace Corps service to complement my blogging and journaling, but I can’t change the past.  May I suggest, however, that you start right away?  Whether you’re in Peace Corps, grinding away 9 to 5, or struggling to find even one second to breathe between kid activities, I think you’ll find 1 Second Everyday to be an empowering, entertaining, and easy addition to your life.  

I guarantee you’ve done something today that deserves being remembered.


9 thoughts on “Reintegration Everyday, 1 Second at a Time”

  1. Welcome home you guys!! It’s a bitter sweet transition back to the states for sure! Even though it’s been 15 years since my return from Nicaragua (Nica 26), I remember it like it was yesterday! Thank you for sharing your journey! 💗

  2. Hi,

    Sorry to bother you.  My name is Ray Blakney and I am an RPCV from Mexico (2006-2008). Hope the RPCV transition is going well! I am working on a 3rd goal project with the PC regional offices and the main office in DC to try to create an online archive to keep the language training material made all over the world from getting lost.  I have created a sub-section on the website my wife and I run Live Lingua with all the information I have been able to get to date (from over the web and sent to me directly by PC staff and PCV’s).  I currently have close to 100 languages with ebooks, audios, and even some videos. 
    The next step for this project is that I am trying to get the word out about this resource so that it can not only be used by PCV’s or those accepted into the Peace Corps, but also so that when people run across material that is not on the site they can send it to me and I can get it up for everybody to use.  I was hoping that you could help getting the word out by putting a link on this on your site here, so that people know it is there.  There should be something there for almost everybody.  It is all 100% free to use and share.  Here is the specific page to what we call the Live Lingua Project:

    Thanks for any help you can provide in making this 3rd goal project a success.   And if anybody in your group has some old material they can scan or already have in digital form, and want to add to the archive, please don’t hesitate to pass them my email.  Thanks and have a great day.

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