I’m a bit late for this party, downshifting is so three years ago! Fear of Missing Out has probably been discussed to death also. Yet, these are ‘My beefs, 2018’ (if you get this reference I will love you unconditionally for ever). For it is so that the former would do me good, yet the latter makes the former seem impossible, unachievable, anxiety-inducing.
I don’t, much like Steven Tyler, wanna miss a thing. If I am at work, I want to play after. There is no time for chillax! I must save/experience/adventure/investigate/comment on the world. I must see my good people, because blessed I am, to have good people. I also find housework, paying bills, cooking food, shopping and other such life admin tasks very boredom-inducing compared to seeing people, doing things. I don’t want to be in my house all day, during the week or at the weekend.
All of this, I think, has left me a bit drained this autumn season. When the Xmas holidays started I took a train straight from work to my man friend’s family’s house in Western Finland for the weekend. Being there was not yet like being at home, for I’ve only visited once before, although met them several times elsewhere. Even though everyone is super-nice and chill I was nervous about routines, mildly about food (will there be too much of it, will I be made to eat more than I can manage…no-one of course did as adults generally don’t force other adults to over-eat, not even at Xmas). Xmas for me is full of Very Important Traditions, with my parents and other members of family, friends, and I noticed how I wasn’t able to relax when inside the magical snow globe of Other People’s Very Important Traditions. A shame, that.
I traveled home for Xmas eve and spent the next two days with my parents, with a couple of visits to family friends. I won’t lie and say that was without its issues, it wasn’t. My illness, different personalities, other life events etc, have caused damage in my little family unit and tensions can be high. I guess I realized fully this Xmas that I no longer wish to spend many consecutive days with my family. Before this year, being ill, I was unable to make certain observations I now can, because I was too consumed by symptoms. On Boxing Day, when I returned home, I was relieved to spend the day like I wanted, in my house, in my pants, with my rum&coke, with my bf, talking about things I wanted to talk about.
Xmas was emotionally fairly draining, and I guess didn’t really help me to recharge. I don’t know if that happens to some or most people. Big holidays are full of big expectations and thus, there is danger of big disappointments too. Waiting for New Year then, lol, the biggest anti-climax of them all usually… Anyway, returning to work on the 27th, I noticed, I do not want to do anything. I didn’t want to be at work, or do anything after work. I am usually such a busy-body and feel like I need do be doing something from 8am to 8pm at least, yet, on Thursday evening, I read a book for 1,5 hrs. This, previously, has seemed like a ‘waste of time’ to me. It felt freakin fabulous! Last night, I said no to two invitations – a gig and a weekend visit. I confronted my FOMO heavily and said, fuck it, I can do all of that stuff in 2019. I am too tired right now.
This is pretty special. I am giving myself time to rest and perhaps even more importantly, I no longer believe that all good things will be taken away from me forever if I don’t jump at every chance of them. If I don’t visit a friend today, they will not abandon me forever – I can visit another time. If I don’t go to see a band, other occasions will come. If I don’t spend all my waking hours being ‘of use’ it doesn’t mean my time isn’t useful. Resting and re-calibrating is *very* useful.
I am happy for the downtime that days in between Xmas and NY are. I know that if the world went on as normal, I would be tempted to continue my busy-bodiness too. I am glad everyone else is being chill and eating cake! Sometimes a slightly forced period of downtime is what one needs.
I probably won’t downshift til forever. I simply enjoy doing things too much. Yet, during holiday periods, during times when ‘nothing happens’, I can view this nothing as an opportunity rather than a threat. My brain and my body need a breather at times. If it’s too crowded in there there is no space for any new blossoming! I feel I should end this with some kind of New Year’s resolution relating to downshifting, but NY’s resolutions often fail with me. Instead, I plan on investigating the possibilities of doing slightly less, being slightly more. Sounds good enough methinks.