I feel like I am missing things, dropping the ball, making all sorts of mistakes. I feel like I am constantly rushing, playing catch-up, and trying desperately to get to the bottom of an inbox that never quite empties.
Needless to say, this is not my normal state of being. But for about a month each fall during four of the most critical holidays in the Jewish calendar, my ruthlessly organized life and tendency to plan ahead fall by the wayside, in favor of a more spontaneous, live-in-the-moment kind of existence.
Because during these four successive weeks, life stops for seven days. For seven days, over four weeks, I don't go to work, check e-mail, or answer the phone. I don't check Facebook, Twitter or all the other social networking sites I have decided I can't life without. I don't watch TV. I don't read blogs and I don't write on my own. I don't read the hundreds of articles that pile up daily in my Google Reader. I don't do any of these things.
During these seven days I put all of these things away in favor of quiet mornings, family meals, copious romance novels and long naps. I rest, I think, I dream a little, and sometimes I plan.
And while it is calm and peaceful during the days that I am disconnected, the minute each holiday comes to an end, I am smacked in the face with a reminder that, while my life stopped for those days, the rest of the world certainly did not. When the sun goes down at each holiday's end, there are work e-mails to return, voice mails to answer, social networking to return to, blogs to read and to write, and fall TV filling up my DVR. There are suitcases to pack, goodbyes to be said, and early-morning flights to catch.
Sometimes I relish the return to life. But not this year. This year, in the final hours of each holiday, I find myself with my stomach in knots, anticipating the inevitable avalanche when I turn my devices back on. And I wish for time to slow down. That I could stay on the couch, romance novel in hand, for just one more day. That I could spend just a little more time unplugged. That I could keep my brain quiet for just a little longer.
I need a little more quiet.
Because I have a lot going on these days. A full time job, books to read and blogs to write, an apartment to pack up, a city to say good-bye to, and a new house to move in to. And I am overwhelmed. I have moments where I despair of ever seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And I am not the type to despair of anything. But over the past few weeks, my usual optimism has been escaping me.
So right now, more than ever before, I need these seven days. I am grateful for them, even with the inevitable chaos that follows. These days that require me to press pause. To think about where I have been, and where I am going. To reevaluate what is important and what is not. To stop. These days are a reminder to me that there is something far bigger and more important than myself out there in the vast universe, and it is time to take a look.
Breathe and reboot. I had forgotten in this past month how badly I need to do this, to relax and recharge.
But I remember now.
Breathe and reboot.