I talk a lot about simplifying things. I remember writing a post about 5 years ago about steps and simplifying things to a process. I talk a lot about the “next first step,” and I truly believe in it. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t still complicated and difficult and sometimes exhausting. I long for the simplicity because nothing these days really is.
I try to take myself back to high school and college me. To before I had instant access to everything and I think about how we interacted. I always seemed to get in touch with the people I needed to, despite not texting them 3 times en route to meeting them. My relationships, while young and primitive, didn’t hinge on swipes or responses to other people’s posts. We talked on the phone. We met at the beach or out by the lake. Come to think of it, a lot more time was spent driving around looking for the party than actually going to it. And we seemed to be just fine.
In college the extent of getting in touch was either being where the people were (bars, the quad, maybe class) and answering machines. You hoped like hell that girl called you back and if not you made damn sure to be where she might be. Simple. Right?
I know it’s all part of age and the times and blah, blah, blah, but I know that I long for some of that simplicity and I wish it for my kids. “Modern life,” is fucking idiotic and exhausting. No one needs access to anyone 24-7, and yet I have 6 email addresses, text, fb messenger, groupme, and if all that fails, you can call me (just know I’m never answering). I might as well just wear a shock collar too.
I’m not following up that last paragraph with any real advice. We are too far along. No ones dropping their Spotify account to go back to making mixtapes, but I wish we could. I wish we could go do something for an hour and not think we missed out on the “nothing” that’s occurred out in make believe land, but sometimes I think the only way to it is all or nothing. A simple, not at all feasible, solution.
Or is it. One day, back in 2011 or so I was working for Mizuno and sitting at my desk answering emails. For someone unknown reason, and I say unknown because nothing unusual was happening, I decided that I was fed up with email and I hit “select all” followed by “delete.” 4 years of email gone. And then i waited to see what happened. Over the course of the next few days I waited for the calls and emails asking why I hadn’t responded or done “x”. I waited and watched my email box fill up with a new batch of nothingness. Want to know what happened?
Nothing. I didn’t receive one email, call or text regarding something I missed or got rid of. I figured someone was on the other end of all those emails and if something was truly important, they’d let me know.
This speaks volumes to how meaningless the things we spend hours fretting about truly are. Without sounding like some sort of nihilist, none of this shit matters the way we think it does.
So maybe let go for the weekend. Quit checking emails and try and relax. Simplify for an hour. Or maybe half a day. I don’t know what works for you because I’m terrible at it too. But we can try.
Maybe you’ll be a little more present in the real world and stress a little less.