Not as easy as it sounds is it, switching off? It’d be swell if we could unplug our brain like we do that manky old kettle we bought for six quid from Tesco as a student which is now covered in limescale and is potentially a semi-serious public health situation. In reality, as a career wielding, home running, teen raising, part time writing ‘thirty something’ (bleurgh) it is increasingly hard to switch off. You may have some or none of the above but you’ve sure as hell got your own never ending list of stuff to work through, stuff that keeps you up at night.
Right at the time we should be heading off to snoozeville to prepare for the next never ending day, our brains are running beautifully weird scenarios of things we could have done better whether at the office yesterday or that time when we were fourteen (cough, sixteen) and we hadn’t even kissed a boy and maybe if we hadn’t had that perm or wore that white cardi with the fur collar that everyone else was wearing…
Ridiculous things. Things that are an utter drain on our limited personal resources. Things that we can never ever change unless we Quantum Leap our way back.
I heard this week that our early thirties is supposed to be the hardest time. The time when so much is changing and, especially now in the time of Dante’s circles of social media hell, we’re faced with constant comparisons. The successes of others are thrust violently into our faces every time we pick up our phones. Making us question everything: am I doing enough? Am I doing life right? Should I be queen of everything by now? Should I be fitter, richer, more maternal, more adventurous. Should I like shellfish and olives?
No of course not, they’re both bloody vile. Bottom line is that you should be you. Where you are and what you’re doing is a-ok. You’ve got this. The only way to really start believing it is to take a step back. To stop looking at the lives of others. To focus on you, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there, to look at the happy little bits of your own existence right this second.
Step away from the computer folks.
Easier said than done, it took an exorbitant fee to access wifi in the middle of the ocean to stop me doing it for a while and guess what? I slept, really slept, for the first time in months. I read an actual book and wrote actual words using a pen on actual paper. I ate meals without tweeting about them, wild. I sat in blissful silence with my favourite person watching beautiful sunsets and crapping seagulls and it was brilliant.
Whether you’re in the middle of the sea or the middle of your garden, try. Try harder to switch off, to stop comparing. Give yourself a break…after you’ve finished reading this, obvs.
Are you a good switcher offer? TELL ME ALL YOU KNOW.