Things are busy. It’s the nature of the world we have created around us, we always have our emails on and this is truly an era of always being available. It’s good for business, but it’s not always good for your mental state. As much as I love what technology has done with always being able to communicate, sometimes, I just need everyone to shut up. There is too much noise – Facebook alerts going off, incoming texts and emails, and that annoying Twitter app I’ve been using.
My need for silence has driven me to shut off all communication for one hour a night, but to be honest, I start getting the shakes after too long. For an entire hour, I have to ignore the temptation to scroll through my emails and make sure no one needs me right now, update my Twitter, send a text, or post to Facebook. When I first started, it was harder than I thought it would be. Then, I realized that I was trying to replace an activity with, well, nothing. Having my phone means always having an activity, and when I turn it off, I instantly have nothing that I can do to pass my time. With that in mind, I decided to make a list of the things that I can fill my hour of time with.
Write. I don’t mean blog posts or working on comments, I mean writing something that is completely unrelated to my work life. This could be an entry for my personal blog or something fictionally related. It doesn’t matter; I just need to set some time for myself and the kind of writing that I do for pure fun.
Clean. I admit that I am a bit of a clean freak. My husband would probably say I’m “crazy clean”. I wage daily battles against dust bunnies and coffee spots on the kitchen floor and counters. I actually find it very therapeutic and relaxing to clean. When I’m turning off my technology for an hour I like cleaning to relax – but if you hate to clean, I wouldn’t suggest this to you.
Crap TV. I also admit that I have a deep love for the worst kinds of reality TV. The more out of control, the better for me, and I personally think it’s hilarious to watch people on reality TV struggle. Take all of these Housewives shows – they live in giant homes with all of this money, and the only things they have interesting in their lives it to sit around and pick at each other. I think it’s amusing – and we all need a good laugh.
Read. I don’t read enough anymore. It’s one thing I’m aware of and I’m also a very picky reader. I’ve read things that have turned into movie franchises that when I see the words on the page, I want to stab my eyes out. People’s likes and dislikes are always different, but I can appreciate anything that is a good book. (By the way, if you have any suggestions, I’m game. My book list has gotten shorter lately. I need new stuff.)
There are some ways that I step back from my dominant need for my communication with others. It’s been really nice and if you’re not already turned off for a period of time each night, I suggest that you do. It’s been a great experience. The silence is actually very comforting. How are you shutting off and shutting everyone else up?