Sometimes, nothing can be harder than doing nothing at all. We are bombarded with news, advertisements, and an avalanche of social media posts and emails (like this one, but hear me out). We tell ourselves we need a break, that we need to leave the phone at home and head outside.
If only it were that easy.
If you have heard or read the acronym “FOMO” or “fear of missing out” you probably know where I am going with this. Given our rapidly changing daily routine, the pressure of the 24-hour news cycle, and of course, the burden of current events, it can feel as though we have a responsibility to plug in at every moment. If we take a little time for ourselves to embrace nature, we must be missing all the many things that people are talking about and doing together.
For me, staying plugged in all the time has done nothing but degrade my ability to do my job well or be my best self. I am distracted by the news, discouraged by the conflicts I see online, and ineffective at staying on top of the things that matter most. Quantity of time spent plugged in can not replace the quality of those minutes and hours.
The world can wait for us. Trust me. Those emails will be there when you get back. You can answer the calls you missed during business hours. The next day’s headlines will rapidly replace the news you may have missed. You’ll be a more rested, relaxed, and attentive reader and thinker when you take some time for yourself and those around you...
This weekend was just what I needed. A little camping trip along a peaceful river with my friends and their families was an antidote to the 1,000 things that have been worrying me about the coming months. When I leave the range of the cell towers, I have a little twitch of anxiety that I’ll be missing out, but guess what? The world waited for me, and I felt better for having left it behind for a little while.
With hope for our community and an open heart,