Overload

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I have been thinking lately about how overstimulating the world in which we live can be. (Yes, hi, I have been out of touch for a while…if you are still reading, I can only imagine you have me in your Reader just in case I ever blog again.) I often think this at work because, well, I work in a NICU. Like any other critical care unit, there are a LOT of noises. We have the alarms that go off when the monitors sense something might be wrong. We have the alarms on the IV pumps we use. We have the alarms on the feeding pumps we use. We have the phones. We have the doorbell that rings when someone would like to come into the unit. We have a large room that is very open and often full of people who are talking. It can get loud. It can get overwhelming. Occasionally, I have to excuse myself and step into our back hallway for a moment of silence.

However, even when I am not at work, there is a lot going on. Although I don’t spend as much time in my car as I used to, I do drive somewhere at least once  a day. While in the car, I am paying attention to the cars around me, what’s on the radio, the traffic signals, the scenery…and I am also thinking, about what I did that day, about what I still have to do that day, about what I forgot to do that day, about what I am doing tomorrow. It’s not a calm place, my car. Sometimes, a hated commercial will come on the radio, and then I immediately am hitting buttons, trying to find something to listen to that doesn’t, well, push my buttons. I am often eating in the car. I am sometimes on the phone. It’s a little slice of chaos in an otherwise chaotic day.

The internet is a huge part of my overload, I think. I hate to say this because I LOVE the internet. I spend a lot of my time at home pecking away at the keyboard that I have connected to one of the USB ports for my netbook because the netbook’s keyboard just doesn’t get the job done anymore. At any given moment, I might have five or six tabs opened in my web browser (I use Chrome.), and they might be anything from Facebook to Gmail to a bulletin board site to Twitter to Google Reader (Yeah. I’m a Google girl.) to Pinterest. And I flip back and forth between tabs, always wanting to see the latest updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter or pins on Pinterest. The internet has no end…it just goes on forever. And that is part of the problem.

I am in no way a minimalist. I may not have discussed before how I figured out once that I had twelve of the same Old Navy grey t-shirt in my dresser drawer. I am someone who likes stuff. And I spend a lot of time online or watching TV or reading or doing some combination of the three. But I am starting to feel like I need to scale it back a little. Spending all this time engaged in outward things means that I don’t make the time to become engaged in my inward pursuits. And this lends to some of the anxiety-related issues that I have been having as of late. I feel like if I spent more time in silence with my thoughts (and also in the pages of my journal, also with my thoughts), I may find myself in a quieter, less frantic, less overloaded place. I think it could be good for me.

However, quitting the internet (or even cutting back on it) won’t be easy, and I don’t know when I will be ready to take on the challenge. It sounds like a good New Year’s resolution maybe. We will see if I am ready to do it then.

Make it a great day, everyone!

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