Occasionally, I do this thing I like to call “flatlining.” When you think about the origins of this term, it can be rather morbid, but it’s something I like to use flippantly. Most of the time, I flatline when I’m feeling under-stimulated, or underwhelmed. This kind of flatline usually takes place in front of some sort of screen…where I can feel my brain cells slowly disintegrating. You know that feeling…either too many hours spent in front of the tv, your work computer, or on your phone.
As someone who likes to continuously stay busy, I tend to have this exact reaction once my life slows down a bit. Everything comes to a complete stop. It might be worrisome behavior, but, at best, I’m sure it’s entertaining to observe. Add the fact that I live alone on top of this, and all my speaking abilities go out the window. Try not to ask me any questions (especially before coffee!), unless you need a ridiculous response that takes 10 minutes to formulate.
“Flatlining” isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, I schedule this kind of downtime for myself. If you move your incoherent self to a beach or poolside, suddenly it’s called a vacation. Add an omelette and a mimosa on a Sunday and you suddenly have brunch! You can go for a hike, or go shopping while flatlining too. There are endless possibilities, but they’re all intended to give you a break.
This past week, I spent several mornings just laying by the pool. There, I quite literally do nothing aside from apply sunscreen, lay down, and chat with the boss lady. (Sunscreen is key here, everyone! I learned this the hard way. At one point, when I pulled my sunglasses down the bridge of my nose, I was left with a red racing stripe. Reapply!)Earlier last week, I spent some time in the salon where I also zoned out to the point where I almost fell asleep. Luckily my hairstylist likes to make me work for my hair, there’s enough standing up and sitting down to keep me occupied for a few hours. While it might seem rather boring for some people, it’s times like these that somehow make me feel more refreshed and ready for the week ahead. Seeing as I have a less than typical schedule nine months out of the year, my summer schedule tends to be the reverse of what is true for most people. I head into a standard 9-to-5 day in the office, while most people plan vacations and take some time off. While having a fluctuating schedule can be really refreshing, I sometimes tend to get too wrapped up in going about a standard routine and completely forget to make time for things that are intellectually and physically stimulating, or just plain old fun. Lately, I’ve turned into the person who comes home, has dinner, and unintentionally falls asleep sitting up at 9pm while watching the latest reality tv drivel. I like to say that the first step in changing a situation is simply acknowledging whatever it is that needs changing. Well, it’s almost halfway through the summer and I haven’t nearly started doing all the things I’ve wanted to do. Join a gym, go to a ballgame, try a new workout class, take more dance classes…the list goes on. None of these things are particularly daunting, but it certainly involves a little bit of initiative, and a whole lot less flatlining.