When I was a teenager, my parents used to ask me if I was a turning into a Republican. Not for any political reasons, but just because I hated change, and they’d tell me that Republicans hated change too. (Republican, in our house, being a very dirty word indeed.) Now, change is good and I understand that on some sort of empirical level. But I still hate it. I even said so in my wedding vows.
And I often, like Republicans or Grandpa, pine for the good old days. Of course they weren’t all good days, but I often long for those days when I was the most organized person in the room.
Possibly related to that – possibly not – I realized something about myself recently. I often find myself in an arbitrary and unnecessary state of panic. I never used to be like this. I hardly used to panic at all.
As our lives have moved online and we now demand a certain immediacy in our every transaction, I find myself thinking something grand should be happening at all times. And this manifests itself as panic. Well I’m doing THIS, but I should be doing THIS. I’m shopping, but I should be eating. I’m doing homework, but I should be concentrating on that project for work. I’m working overtime when I should be working on the house. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I think I should be doing something else. It’s creating inner turmoil. (There are other aspects and avenues to this, as it’s a big issue for me, but I’m trying to stay focused here.)
In the last couple of days, I’ve been able to briefly stop and take stock of things. When I’m worried I should be doing THIS and not THAT, I stop and think, “is there REALLY an urgency to what I think I should be doing?”, and the answer is no.
Of course, in the good ol’ days I knew that intuitively. I never had to think about it. But now I have to think about it. And sometimes I find myself sitting in front of my computer, “Shaun of the Dead” type-stare on my face, and just waiting for something to happen. And it’s all the waiting and thinking and happening that prevents me from realizing what else I could be doing, working on the house, running errands, etc. that I then wouldn’t have to think about later.
A vicious cycle indeed.