Culture

Power outlet scouring and Hawaii daydreaming: what does recharging ourselves mean anymore?

170 days. I wrote a blog post everyday for 170 days straight. Then on day 171 and specifically the 161st day of the calendar year I took a break. I was tired physically, mentally and spiritually. I could have pushed myself to write since I had ideas in my little yellow pad. However, I felt the need to just not write. An odd feeling I must admit. I felt a grand need to recharge myself but the silly part of it all was that I still had to go to work and deal with a bizarre, surreal reality.

There was a time when we worried about recharging ourselves and attempted soul-recharging tactics. We looked to yoga, to vacations, to the sun at mid-day. Arguably we fantasize even more these days about recharging ourselves as the workplace demands ever more productivity from our bone-tired bodies. Ironically enough, my day of respite also happened to be Kamehameha Day-the official state holiday of Hawaii which so happens to be my “happy place.” Hawaii-how I long to be tele-transported there.

These days when we hear the word “recharging” collectively we are thinking of the nearest electrical outlet. We enter a meeting, a room, or even the movie theatre and immediately scope out the nearest outlet. Forget about locating the nearest exit in case a fire or other emergency should occur. We now carry our chargers and run to get our electrical devices charged up before others get to the outlet. You know you have seen that behavior. I just attended a conference where I walked down the hallway and noted that mobile devices were lined up as if they were trying to get into the latest hot nightclub.

Even walking through the streets to work, home or to some other outing, we are using up the charge on our mobile devices and we start looking in longingly into Starbucks, not so much for a caramel macchiatto, but for an empty electrical socket where we can get some more “juice” for our smartphone. All day at work, I kept my phone and Ipad charging. Yet my mind was tired and in no way charging up. The workplace was sucking up all my creative and happy juices. It would be so nice if I could just plug myself in somewhere to rev up my energy levels.

I tried to snap out of it by going to my mental happy place. I started daydreaming of what it would be like to live in Hawaii. Sure, the high cost of living is quite jarring. However, the fact that there are breakfast mai tai happy hour specials is enticing to my brain.

If I can’t quite make it to Hawaii this summer (as I did last year) I can fantasize about Hawaii being plopped into the middle of New York City. I specifically would place Hawaii’s Diamond Head into the west side of Manhattan. I would love to leave work for an hour and do a small hike in the blazing sun. Sure one can go to one if the hundreds of fitness centers in New York at the lunch hour. However, a steep climb outside reaching for the heavens would be divine. Of course, after the climb it would be lovely to get a small Mai Tai to help mitigate the stomach-turning aspects of afternoon meetings.

We are obsessed with having enough power for our mobile devices in order to stay connected. But why? Why do we need to stay so connected to work and colleagues? Let the recharge be more focused on powering up our bodies. If only there was a diamond head mountain smack dab in every city. Mind you there should not be any power outlets along the way. Sadly, I can see that happening over the course of time.

As I walk now to work I wonder what I can do to recharge. My one day moratorium on writing just enhanced further my itch to write. I will keep my hawaii daydream alive and power through the day

Here we are on the 162nd day of the year. Let’s power up before the year is gone.

 

 

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13 replies »

  1. This is great. I have come to believe strongly in the necessity (at least in my own life) of recharging, unplugging (as it were), slowing down, and getting away from the stressors of life (even postive stressors).
    I think a lot of other cultures–if not most other cultures–have this figured out, but in America we’ve definitely lost sight of the importance of our own health in our rush to get stuff done. And I see that you’re a New Yorker–if there’s one particular place where this rush is epitomized, that’s it!
    I wish you success in carving out time for disconnecting from the fray and recharging your spirit.
    I actually posted on Monday about “Unplugging My Life,” if you (or your readers) want to check it out: http://abringerofnewthings.com/2014/06/09/unplugging-my-life/

  2. I would say that you earned a well deserved break. Often people use music to take a mental break. Have a listen to the album Manaus Where Two Rivers Meet by swo8 Blues Jazz. I tell my friends to close their eyes and listen and picture themselves going down the Amazon River by boat.
    Leslie

  3. Mimi, enjoyed your blog today. Do you watch much TV? On HGTV channel, once in a while I catch a show called, “Hawaii Life.” It involves prospective home owners who are looking for a home or vacation spot. At the introduction of the show, the agent states, “You don’t have to be wealthy to live in Hawaii.” I am amazed at the low prices offered for really nice homes – not “out of sight” homes, but within reason. I live in South Florida (ex-pat originally from Brooklyn and by way of Hicksville LI). I have my own “paradise” right here. Have never been to Hawaii, but your idea of having a Diamond Head on the other side of Manhattan is a great one. Just close your eyes, as you suggested. Power up!!

  4. I love the question you ask: why do we need to stay so “connected” to work and colleagues? I often find myself asking this question and am working on ways to “disconnect” (I want to use a better word) from work emails and the pressures of participating in various social media outlets. You’ve also made me think about how I “recharge” myself (or don’t) and what the consequences of not recharging are. Thank you!

  5. We need to have a national holiday of no technology day! How wonderful would that be – everyone would actually interact with one another, go outside, and remember what life was like before selfies, tweets, and texting! Living for the moment not the social image!

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