Today’s article is, once again, one of those instances where I can sit back and say I have trouble following my own advice. I don’t think that anyone in our profession would argue the fact that our family is the most important thing to us. Not only is our family important to us, but we probably could not successfully be in this profession without the direct support of those closest to us. If that is not the case for you, then I am sure you could find someone, somewhere, in your life that gives you the support that allows you to conduct the work you do.
No one would argue against the fact that these people deserve the world. We would do anything for the people who mean the most to us in our lives. And that is where my thoughts are today.
We are constantly surrounded by technology and media and other outside stimuli that constantly draw our attention away from the reality of our lives. Cell phones, television, media, video games, social media etc. receive most our attention during our off time.
What I have found, recently, is that when you allow yourself to separate from these outside stimuli, you are able to relax and de-stress to a degree that I was unfamiliar with before. I am not urging anyone to throw away the phone or the TV. What I am urging is that maybe for an hour each day (or every couple of days if disconnecting gives you anxiety), turn off the TV, put the phone and computer down and just allow yourself to exist in your home, in your household, in your family relationships. It is hard to do at first. Sometimes, even, we find it impossible and unthinkable to separate ourselves from our cell phones because we rely on them so heavily for the job. What if a phone call comes in, updating you about a case you’ve been working on for weeks? Well, I am here to tell you that the call can wait. The person on the other line has already busied themselves with some other task and can await a call back. It will be no skin off their backs. Allow yourself to pick up a book (an actual book, not one on a digital platform). Sit down in a chair, your favorite chair, and allow yourself to disconnect from all the outside stimuli that is constantly attacking us from so many different angles. This will allow you to separate your work from your home much more easily. Once the hour is complete, pick it back up. I bet, after a trial run, you are much more relaxed, you have realized that nothing world-changing has occurred, and you will live to see another day (or another text).
If reading isn’t your thing, then take that hour to go on a walk with the girlfriend, the boyfriend, the husband, the wife or the kids. For God’s sake, take that hour to sit and talk. You will be surprised how that hour may turn into 2, 3 or even 4 hours! Sit down at the table to eat, not in front of a TV, where you will only be reminded about the horrible things that exist in our world that you have the fortunate and unfortunate opportunity to see every single day.
I am lucky enough to remember when I was a kid, when there were no cell phones, TV was reserved for Thursday nights or Saturday mornings. Allow yourself to go back to those days and free yourself from your daily worries.
You owe it to yourself, peacekeeper; you owe it to everyone around you. Nothing is guaranteed, not today, not tomorrow. Heaven forbid, the last memory people have of you is of the glow of a cell phone reflecting upon your face.