I know we are all busy. For some reason people in this country (at least those of us in the Northeast) think that every minute of every day should be filled with stuff. If we have a minute we start to wonder why we didn’t book it, then to make sure that it’s covered we add “think about adding more stuff to my to-do list” in that slot. It’s crazy. Many of us never take a minute to take a deep breath and enjoy the odoriferous emanations of this stinky life.
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing and didn’t feel guilty about it? When did you put down the laptop, log off of Twitter and Facebook and just enjoy the silence? I did it on my last vacation – mainly because I couldn’t bring myself to paying my monthly internet rate for five minutes of email access – and I liked it. I got hooked to being unhooked. I am a big 80s fan in part because the 80s were pre-internet and post Civil Rights. A perfect time to just exist (as long as you were like eight years old of course).
Then I started thinking about my life. Through my teen years I pretty much did what kids do. But when I got my first real job at 16 I never looked back. By 18 I had a full time job, by 19 I had a new full time job in non-profit and was enrolled as a full time student in college. I did that for five years, while moving up through the ranks of management and at some point added being a personal trainer to the list. I eventually earned my degree, then had a kid and got married. With the new kid I had to switch jobs a couple more times to get the salary up, added writing and volunteering to the mix and kept going.
Now I am taking masters-level courses in a subject that I am passionate about, enjoying finally doing some paid writing, volunteering, changing jobs, raising a boy, and barbecuing regularly. I continue to add more stuff because I’ve always had plenty to do so I never thought about not having several things to do. Somehow it all fits in, I suppose, and I have my priorities in order so I always tend to the needs of the Dev first. But at what point do you cut out the crap and take a breath?
I’m not sure what the answer to that is. I am too young to slow down and too old to not know that slowing down is a good thing. I can definitely use more time with my homies. I can totally use a shorter commute. And I would love to have more time to write. But wouldn’t we all?
The trend continues tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last day in my current position. My new job starts not on Monday, but on Sunday. Now that’s what I call keeping it moving! The best part of it all is that I just finished tucking my son in and I’m about to finally watch Slumdog Millionaire with my wife. My break may only be for the next couple of hours but it will be good.
After reading this you should shut down your computer and take a moment for yourself. Read, listen to the new Maxwell, watch a movie, or better yet chat with someone you love. Even a few minutes can do wonders.
Whew! You have been on your grind for eons!
It is hard to unplug. My hands twitch when I don’t have my blackberry. I think after health care Obama should piss more people off by mandating that we take three weeks off in August!
Hey Keith, I just spend a week with my 92 year old grandfather, who is still active and in his right mind (-: What I’ve learned from him is that it’s best to “keep it moving” while you can.
Excellent post. The last time I shut down and did absolutely nothing was today. (Except for short blackberry breaks) Finally at 9pm I log on to the computer because I had something to do. I can’t even remember what that task was supposed to be… (sigh)
Thanks to technological advances, our lives have become so incredibly complex and our schedules, action-packed. We should all turn off the computer once in awhile, and enjoy some quality family time.
Heather for Children’s Aid NYC