The Stress of Unplugging
Over the past week or so, every conversation, article, blog post, Facebook update, and Tweet that has anything to do with being too busy or too plugged in has caught my eye. As if I didn’t already have enough to do, I have tuned in or paid rapt attention or clicked on those links to immerse myself in whatever the speaker or writer had to say. Perhaps reading about how other people feel too busy and how they deal with it will reveal the secret to magically making all of this busy-ness disappear!
Obviously, ignoring all of that other material would serve my intention of crossing items off my to-do list so I can get to the “relaxing” part of my days more quickly. I’ve piled the list up to impossible heights, because we are going on a family vacation next week for a few days, and I really want to leave my computer behind and not even check my phone for emails. I want to unplug. FOR REAL.
And so the stress of getting ready to unplug is starting to spiral around in my brain like a tiny tornado. Okay, maybe not that bad. Maybe right now it’s just a loose windstorm.
And then I fear that in the days after I unplug, the pile-up from not checking four days worth of email and the rest of it will be enormous and insurmountable. I have a friend who went on vacation for a week – off the grid on another continent – and when she got back she had a mess to tackle. She seems to be alright, though, so I’m going to use her – or at least my perception of her – as a model.
Most of my busy-ness is of my own making, something I realized when I read this article yesterday.
It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.
As I finish up this post I feel life passing me by. I see my colleagues reaching above and beyond, achieving things and setting goals. (One might suggest that I turn off Facebook, which contributes to both the busyness and the overwhelming sense of being left behind.) The sun moves across the sky, reminding me that the clock is ticking and time is running out and there isn’t, in fact, always tomorrow. And somehow, in the meantime, my 7-year-old has taught himself digital modeling. Just now he made this:
I don’t want to be so busy that I miss things. I want to unplug. Whether or not I Get Everything Done before vacation, there will be plenty to do when I get back. Wish me luck.Pin It