Friends, over the weekend, I did something highly unusual: I booked plane tickets for a long-weekend getaway to Boston later this fall.
Why is this unusual? Well, as I mentioned in this post, I usually talk myself out of stuff like this: “It’s too expensive,” I’ll think as I gaze wistfully at flight prices (this is basically my No. 1 reason for not doing anything). Or, “I probably can’t take that much time off work.” I am highly susceptible to any kind of guilt–and I’ve found it’s very easy to guilt myself into not taking a vacation. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past year and a half.
But then I read this article about hitting the reset button–which I also linked to in Friday’s post–and it struck a chord. (Actually, it was more like a gong reverberating through my brain.) The information in it is astounding: For example, did you know that on an average day, we take in 174 newspapers’ worth of information? (174 newspapers! Dude.) Or that we watch five hours of TV on any given day? This, on top of the fact that I am extremely attached to my phone–it’s basically replaced my laptop, and I use it as an alarm, calendar, etc.–made me stop and pause. R. makes fun of me for being so beholden to it, but it’s actually not funny at all. No wonder I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed lately. I haven’t been giving myself the chance to hit refresh, mostly because I’m checking my email, Instagram or Facebook.
So what to do?
Well, here’s what, according to the piece’s author, Daniel Levitin: Spend more time daydreaming. Do your social networking and emailing in small, pre-planned doses. Make time for naps. Take a vacation.
So with that in mind, I decided to take a step out of my normal routine and go see one of my best friends in the whole world, who moved to Boston four years ago and who I’ve been promising to visit for exactly that amount of time. I had the thought and made the reservations within 24 hours’ time, and just knowing that I’m going is a huge mood-lifter: The power of something to look forward to is real, you guys. And the fact that I did it so quickly alleviates all of the hemming and hawing and self-guilting: The tickets are paid for and I’m going. Hooray!
Of course, all this being said, I realize I also need to work on reducing my dependency on my phone and the Internet; a vacation isn’t going to cure that. The article offers up several helpful suggestions, which I’m going to try, in addition to just setting my phone aside more often. So more on that later. In the meantime: The countdown to vacation–a real, true vacation; the first one in many moons–is officially on.