Reality Anxiety

I know that in general, people do not like change.  We like our safe little worlds and our safe routines and everything being the same from day to day.  But, change is also good.  It keeps our brains active, it brings in new ideas and helps keep things interesting and fun.  I have to force myself to get out there and engage in new and challenging activities and vacations are a part of that for me.  However, now that our wonderful 3 week vacation in Japan is drawing to a close, I`m having reality anxiety about plunging myself back into the real world again after just getting used to the relaxation and exploration abroad.

Part of it is my own fault.  I am an information junkie in a serious way.  I collect books (even in foreign languages that I don`t yet know how to read).  I subscribe to many blogs and information web sites.  I listen to several podcasts.  And now, I`m behind in all of it.  I brought a book with me on vacation that I haven`t even started reading yet.  I meant to get caught up on podcasts with the waiting time and such, but am not even close.  And, I`ve got podcasts from the three weeks that I was away to get caught up on once I return.  Then there are all the mundane household things that will need to be attended to as well – laundry, bills, cleaning, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, cooking.  That`s also not to mention that both my husband and myself will be going back to work almost right away.  I`m lucky in that I get an extra day to readjust to being on home time again, but my husband goes back to work on Monday.

I knew that I was going to be faced with this problem so I did manage to do a few things before I left.  It`s far from an all-encompassing strategy, but hopefully it`s something I can develop further in the future.  It`s similar to a `re-locating` strategy where you go through and declutter as though you are moving to a different house.  I tried to digitally declutter my life a bit before I left. 

First, I unsubscribed from as many email newsletters as I could.  I wasn`t sure how easily we`d be able to check email while away and I didn`t want something important getting lost in the hundreds of essentially useless messages that would pile up.  Many of these things weren`t really adding value to my life anyway and were just serving to clog up my inbox and waste my time.  Unfortunately, there are a few that require account information and I`ve forgotten passwords, so I`ll still have to continue utelizing my delete button for a while. 

Second, I went through all the feeds that I read and cut semi-ruthlessly.  But, I have to admit that I did make a backup here.  As I unsubscribed from some of the feeds, I wrote them down on a list so that when I return home, I can see if there`s anything I`d like to resubscribe to.  At this point, I don`t miss too much, but I get a lot more computer time when I`m in Canada, so I might add some back in.  I`ll have to see how that goes.  I think I`d probably rather be more involved in the communities of blogs that I do read, rather than being involved in a higher quantity.  In particular, I`ve found a few new blogs lately through twitter that I`ve enjoyed reading.  I`d like to start interacting with those bloggers rather than just being a passive audience member.

As much anxiety as I`m having about getting back to reality, there are a few things that I am looking forward to about returning to Canada.  Even though it`s going to be a huge job, going through all the pictures we took is going to be awesome.  Plus, we bought some decorative items to put on our walls, which have been mostly bare for the 2 years since we moved in to our townhouse.  (Visual space is nice, but it just feels big and empty instead of calming).  A bunch of my family members and friends have been vacationing lately, so I`m looking forward to getting caught up with everyone`s adventures, exchanging stories, photos, and souvenirs.  Plus, there are a few small homey details that I`m looking forward to – soap in public bathrooms (usually), keyboards with the ` in the more familiar location, the morning calls of Canadian birds, and the smell of our familiar laundry soap on our sheets and pillowcases at home.

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