Fear of Turning Off (Or 10 Things Not To Do This Weekend)

I am proud to say - in our hyper-connected, ADD, distracted world - that I no longer feel FOMO.

I couldn’t care less what amazing parties, dinners and adventures others are partaking in.  Good for them!  Having come up in the Facebook generation, it is a major accomplishment to no longer feel any sense of desperation, loneliness or lack of worth from this kind of thing. This is a good thing -  it’s important to be wherever you are and with those around you.

The problem is that I still have this constant FOM…idk-what? A need to be doing, acting, accomplishing. I’m not worried about what others are doing and I’m not, but rather what an ideal Graham is doing. I feel like every waking moment is an opportunity to be doing something to better myself, drive something forward or make something happen. Sitting on the couch is bad, but reading news/blogs/twitter, cleaning the kitchen or writing emails is good. Organizing the pantry, closets, books (size, height, genre, color?) is especially important.  Better yet - listen to a podcast while you do it! 

I struggle to get through a movie, tv show, or sporting event these days, even though I don’t have cable and am watching these things without the commercial interruptions.  Part of this is great.  It is good that I can’t shut my brain off and stare at the TV anymore like I did growing up. Reading, doing something creative/productive or learning is so much better than passively staring, no question.

But what is the cost of not being able to totally shut off?  Not every waking moment is a time to do. More poignantly, not every waking moment that we stay busy actually accomplishes anything. This is the nuance that is especially dangerous. I am obsessed with todo lists (even for the most personal or “fun” of things: Plan social event with friends, recurring task 1x weekly) and checking things off.

I think it’s good to be active, motivated and focused, but detrimental to miss out on relaxing and enjoying the in between moments. At a certain point your actions become robotic and ultimately diminish in return, if not importance.  FOTO: Fear of Turning Off is real and it’s becoming ever more apparent in my daily life.

I never thought I would have to practice not doing something. I’m going to focus on this and see what happens.  Any ideas of what not to do this weekend?