21st century life is, at least 90% of the time anyway, absolutely overwhelming. There’s always somewhere to be, something that has to be done and can’t wait for even five more minutes. There are people you need to visit, phone calls you’ve been putting off, family members that you just don’t see enough. And then there’s the TV. And even worse, the computer, because once you log on, you have your choice of millions of websites to browse, which consumes plenty of time. Add social networking to that – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. – and you can end up zapping hours of your day away without even realizing that you’re doing it. In the meantime, there are dinners to cook, piles of clothes to watch, dishes to wash, bills to pay. And then, topping everything off, there’s that 50 hour workweek that takes precedence over everything else.
Just typing all of that sucked away my energy, so living it isn’t much better. I’ve been a nightshifter for the past ten months and, although it’s been an adjustment, I love it. But beginning a week ago, I temporarily moved to dayshift to help out where we’re having some HR leadership shortages. I don’t mind helping out. I love to be helpful and to make a difference, but I forgot how much the little things – the long lines at stoplights, the backed up traffic, the crowded businesses – used to stress me out. I ended my first week on days absolutely drained. I slept more than I was awake this past weekend. Now I’m midway through my second week on days and still feel like I climbed a mountain at the end of every day.
I’m finding it harder and harder to do anything when I get home except sit on the couch and stare blankly at my feet until I crawl into bed two hours later. When I do actually take the time to get online, I blister with irritation at everything I see. All of this tells me one thing – I need to pull back, refocus, and remove the things that are making me feel this way. I can’t really concentrate on TV or movies. I’ve discovered that the only form of entertainment that I can focus on and that doesn’t annoy me are radio shows from my vast collection. I listened to several episodes of The Jack Benny Show last night, which did help soothe my nerves and calm me down. I’m limiting my time on social media and am skipping everything else. I really do love to blog and read the blogs of others, so that will continue. But until I get a handle on my life and start feeling less like a spitting cobra (cobras spit, right?), I’ve got to dial down the outside world and focus on just what’s going on inside my own four walls. I have to stop listening to news about Syria, or reading reflections of 9/11, or listening to people bash politicians I support. For a while, I’m going to stick my head right into the proverbial sand. Everything will still be there when I pull it back out again, except for maybe then I’ll be able to cope with it all a little better.