In today’s busy world it seems to be so difficult to unplug from everything around us for a much-needed respite. Many of us are used to a fast-paced life but it seems the last two years have even been more difficult with dozens of ZOOM calls and conference calls just going from one meeting to the next. I guess in reality it is the new way to do business but what price are we paying? It’s great to have an alternative to driving or flying to conduct meetings especially in this time of Covid but it seems we are “on” all the time, with no time away.

Recently, I made a call to my phone carrier to ask about a charge, a nice lady answered and began to help me when suddenly I heard a child in the background. I realized that the employee is working from home and as it was evening was probably locked away in a room while the child was having dinner or doing homework. It made me feel bad as I felt I was interrupting and at the same time felt her stress level trying to keep the child quiet while she worked to resolve my issue. Regardless if it is by chance or necessity, we have dissolved so many boundaries it is difficult on everyone.

So, having determined that many of us are not doing well at unplugging, what do we do? Sadly, the answer is if we DO NOT unplug at times and take care of ourselves, our body will shout enough and unplug for us. For me, although retired now, I stay very busy chairing a nonprofit, mentoring several other grassroots groups, trying to be there for my family and friends and I too have found a need to find space and peace. 

Recently, I began going outside and sitting on my porch for my phone calls. I found that letting the breeze blow around me and seeing leaves falling are soothing. I have set a time every evening to spend a few minutes in my raised garden. When I am checking my plants or watering, I feel my stress level going down. Today, I felt a little excitement when I noticed an eggplant bloom. I’m not even a real fan of eggplant, but the sense of accomplishment is there regardless.

It really doesn’t matter what we find to do– go walking, read a book, veg on Netflix, go visit a neighbor –just do something not to lose yourself in this race we call life. Our hearts and mind need to be nourished with things that bring joy and happiness as well as to be challenged with our work, try to balance the two and your body will thank you. Don’t work so hard to “climb” the ladder of success only to later find yourself looking for more meaning in your life. I loved my work but I also love my life and in the end your life is the best gift you were ever given, so treat it well. Sit and watch sunrises and sunsets, enrich your soul and be happy in a balanced life.