Take a break

Life is noisy. Work, social life, side projects, travel—there aren’t enough hours in a week to do everything we want to do. But how do we know what it is that we need to do?

I’ve been feeling rather numb for a while. It’s something I’ve gotten used to in my adult life, but there are certain times where you recognize the numbness from an outside place and think there’s something you must do to confront the situation. And it’s no surprise that tackling an inner feeling can be difficult when we have so many external things to deal with on a near-constant basis. It seems the only time you can find internal quietude is in your sleep.

So I decided to take a vacation. I had several days available that would expire at the end of the year and I don’t typically take vacation during the holiday season without more advance notice, so I spent the days on nothing in particular and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

That first weekend, I had some family in town which was a nice way to kick things off. Then I planned a few loose tasks for the week and some days ahead, things like: clean the floors, work on this site, study a lot of code, go for walks around different neighborhoods. I also penciled in a few events: visit a museum with a buddy, attend a couple meetups and networking events. Not too much, but just enough and also some with the option of not having to hold myself to if I didn’t feel like it that day.

Sprinkle in some reading and a good deal of sleep.

All in all, did I come to any sort of life-altering realization during my staycation? Not really, but I do believe it allowed me to see my current circumstances with a more objective eye. I was able to, first, recall the things I really enjoyed doing and, second, actually devote more mental energy towards those things—things like writing, reading and seeing art.

Particularly in a place like New York City, it is tough to admit you need a break because everything is happening at breakneck speeds. Money is exchanged, people get promotions, deals get signed. You need to cut it all out just to think.

- A