Where’s the reset button?

October 11, 2007

I blamed it on the business trips for a few weeks, the listless lack of focus and intense, non-stop feeling that a rush of deadlines, to-dos and priorities were weighing in too much. I thought surely I’d get over it after I’d had time to unpack, relax, and unwind. I’d find time to make those calls, to post those posts, to reply to those e-mails, to organize my closets, to start on those projects. Right?

So last weekend, all of two weeks of endless yawning sessions and incredible fatigue after the two-week travel spurt, I let myself sleep. Or more like, myself let me sleep. I went to bed at 8 p.m. Friday night. Lame right? Honestly, I haven’t been to sleep that early since I was probably 6, or maybe, possibly, after I got home from a month-long stay in Berlin.

I just fell asleep without warning or plan about an hour after I got home from a delicious, luxurious sushi dinner date with my boyfriend. We were watching some TV we’d missed that week, and all of a sudden, all I knew was it was 9 p.m. and his caring face was looking down, telling me to brush my teeth and that he was going home so he didn’t wake me up.

Then it was 10 a.m. Saturday morning, and I awoke, refreshed, ready to go. I had tons to do, felt totally rested, and had no good excuse not to do anything. So of course, I just sat around, catching up on TV, tidying my room a little. Not vacuuming or folding laundry or anything.

Then I went over to his house to watch the big game with the boyfriend and his roommates. Which meant both of us read Y the Last Man trades and back issues for three hours while everyone else watched the game. (Yep, I love comics. Bet you didn’t expect that one. Also, I despise televised football. Too little game, too much advertising. Lucky for me, the boyfriend’s not a sports on TV nut either.) Anyway, it did not mean working on my thesis research even though I took my laptop. I decided that doing nothing on my to do list for just one day would be a good way to reset, to just have a day where I didn’t have any big expectations for myself. So, I relaxed, ate really delicious, unhealthy sausage queso (the boy frat house that could kill you variety), just lived a little.

It was nice.

So of course, I expected Monday to roll around and for me to just feel ready to go, for the to-dos at work and on the personal list to start flying off my list. I had hit the reset button, after all, right? Instead, Monday morning hit me with panic. I hadn’t done ANYTHING this weekend, and I was going to pay for it. I nearly had a panic attack in the shower, thinking about one specific detail I hadn’t followed up on for an event I’m planning. Then of course, Monday and Tuesday were full of meetings. I probably sat at my desk an hour and a half each day. So those hours were useless, spent trying to figure out where to spend the little time I had. It was getting even worse. More out of control than before. Time was against me, no matter how hard I tried.

Then this morning, the electricity went out in my bathroom. And I had the brilliant idea I needed to reset the electric outlet, like that would do something, like when your dryer doesn’t come on the first time. So, I pushed it. Of course, the electricity didn’t come back on, because my dryer wasn’t the problem. The lights flickered a few times in the house, so I finally figured out it wasn’t just my bathroom, and that there must be some sort of brownout in the area. So of course, hitting a little reset button on the wall was a lame way to try to try to fix it.

So I started thinking, maybe that’s why my Saturday didn’t exactly reset me the way I needed it too, even though I really needed it to. Could it be it was really a lame attempt to fix a much bigger issue? I’m considering it. Because while I’m glad I was able to take some time to chill, I also really need to take some time to remind myself exactly what I think about time management, getting things done, and multitasking. Because when I’m working, I need to be able to work. That way I can really relax when I try, and maybe, somehow, find some balance in the process instead of feeling like both work and life are overwhelming me all the time.

But I have to tell you, I really, really wish sometimes there was just a reset button that I could push to start that day over, to recharge my energies and priorities, force me into focus. You know what I mean?


8 Responses to “Where’s the reset button?”

  1. Ryan Paugh Says:

    Yes Tiffany, I know exactly what you mean. In fact, I think about it most days of my life. It’s a good sign, trust me.

    It means you’re never satisfied, even when you have a satisfactory day. It means even when you have a exceptional day, you probably still find areas you could’ve executed better.

    The fact that you recognize these things mean you’re on the right track.

    Keep kicking ass.

  2. Tiffany Says:

    Thanks, Ryan.

    I think that I may also need to take my own advice and find a few things to quit (namely, watching much TV!) The constant pursuit of balance is a challenge, but one worth paying attention to.

  3. Ryan Paugh Says:

    TV is my enemy too, especially in the fall. Football season is rough on me…

  4. elysa Says:

    Taking a day to relax and do nothing can be absolutely fabulous if you can figure out how to escape the guilt on the other end of it. It’s very rare that I can do nothing without guilt tripping myself into some sort of action. Sometimes it helps to make an agreement with yourself (I know I’m a nerd). If I chose to spend Sunday doing absolutely nothing work related I do it with the agreement that first thing Monday morning I will develop a game plan for the week. I notice if I sit down and plan it all out I can eliminate the stress of too many things to do. If you only have an hour of free time you can get a lot accomplished if you decide what you are going to do in that hour ahead of time.

    Taking Chuck’s advice to plan everything helps so much with this issue.

  5. Elysa,
    Oh, the time guilt is crazy, isn’t it? I loved Anita’s response to my post today at 45things.com – she suggests just finding some time each week to be someplace where it’s totally quiet. Doesn’t that just sound divine?

  6. […] Saturday afternoon, I bound out of my apartment, anxious to press the reset button. A few seconds later, I inhale the smell of rubber and metal and new carpet as I walk into the gym […]

  7. […] maybe it’s not a reset button, but it’s a start. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Three Tips to Keep Your Brain Alive”, url: […]

  8. […] Saturday afternoon, I bound out of my apartment, anxious to press the reset button. A few seconds later, I inhale the smell of rubber and metal and new carpet as I walk into the gym […]

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