With school starting, everyone is in a whirlwind and are going a million miles a minute in a million different directions. So many things to think about! When is the first day? What time do they have to be there? Do they have enough supplies? Did I pack their lunch? Do they need money? Did they get to the bus stop on time? How am I getting to work? Did I send that email? Wait. What time is it?
How are more people not in padded rooms!?
The world today is insane. And the expectations are insane. People expect you to “have it all.” Whether you’re a working woman or man, you have to 1: have a great family, 2: be a great mom/dad, 3: have smart kids that go off to college and become super successful, 4: you have to be successful, 5: take amazing vacations, and 6: always be happy and loving life with your house, car, golden retriever, and 2.3 kids.
I get the American dream of being your own person and making it in the world, but the expectations of the American dream seem to keep adding up! It all sounds exhausting. Is it ok to be single at 30 with no kids and a decent job? Or do you have to be settled in your life and be a director or manager or CEO? I can tell you, I experience both ends of the spectrum. Some people I know got married at 22 and love it and don’t understand how anyone wouldn’t be married by 30. Some people I know are still single and killing it and tell me to wait, you have your whole life to be married! I get that you need to find what is right for you, but I still feel like there’s more and more pressure.
Too much to handle
But this isn’t about me and how I’m still single and killing it. This is about the amount of expectations and information we consume on a daily basis. When is the breaking point?
Think about it – most people get to work, sign on to their email accounts, check social media, talk to co-workers, check voicemail, work on projects, and at the end of the day, don’t really remember what they accomplished. Sometimes I think it would be great to go to a place where, you don’t have email and people have to call you on the phone, or drop you a note. For one week, I would love to shut down my email and just see what happens at work. I’d love to do that to the entire office but not sure how well that would go.
For my projects and my life, I have a weekly calendar, a monthly calendar, and an electronic calendar. My weekly lists out my projects for that day, the monthly lists the overview, and the electronic cals have my appointments. I also use Asana (and love it!) for project communications. Sounds ridiculous, right? I have a lot to manage in my current position and expectations to get everything accomplished so without this organization, I would go crazy (if I’m not already).
When does it stop?
We are fed information constantly. And people have a hard time stepping away from it all. Recently, I was able to take a trip to Alaska and for a whole week, I did not have internet or cell service. My iPhone was about as useful as a rock. Make you cringe at all? Could you do it? I have to say, the first few days were weird. I didn’t have Facebook notifications, Tweets to reply to, or my email sound going off every 15 minutes. I didn’t look at it before I went to sleep…I just, went to sleep. Felt different but after I got passed the idea of always needing it on me, I felt free! I was fully aware of what was happening around me. I didn’t see the world with a rectangle in front of my face or through the camera and it was fantastic!
I was on a cruise and so when I left my room, I had nothing in my pockets. No keys, phone, bag…nothing…(well, some days I had my tiny camera). It was a phenomenal feeling and I recommend everyone doing it at least once a week.
Shut down and lower your requirements
You have to. The world is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Nothing annoys me more than when I’m out with people and I have to text them to get their attention. Put the phone down. You don’t have to Instagram every.single.moment. Sometimes the memories of a great night out are better than a photographic documentary. You do not have to keep up with the Joneses. You do not have to do everything ‘society’ tells you to. Lower your requirements. Soaking in all this information is overwhelming and you have to stop and smell the roses once in awhile.
My Challenge to You
Go for a walk tonight. Don’t care where. Don’t care for how long. And take nothing. Absolutely nothing with you. (Ok, maybe keys because you probably have to get back into your house) Leave the cell phone at home. Leave the iPod. Leave your FitBit or workout tracker. No one cares how long you walked and if you’re really crazy about it, enter this walk as a manual entry.
Go for a walk with nothing but you. Look up. Look down. Look ahead of you. Take it all in and report back to me on how it went.
See the World
Images from my Alaska cruise
Beach walk to a glacier
Climbed to the top of a mountain and saw a WWII site
Foggy and rainy but still gorgeous
Rocks with different colors due to glacier movements
A beautiful sunny day while cruising
Forest walk in Glacier Bay National Park