Pushing the Reset Button on Your Life

When a device or component stops working, what do we do? We reset it. And pretty much every time, that item starts working again. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same with our lives? That’s a theory I’ve been putting to the test for the last few weeks.
When Is a Reset in the Cards?

It’s shockingly, ridiculously easy for life to spiral out of control in a dozen subtle ways. Your work load may change, a key friendship might be in flux, or you could just put it down to the passage of time. Some of signs I noticed in my own life included constant tiredness, a lack of pleasure in formerly enjoyable things, an inability to let go of things out of one’s control, and a deep desire to hibernate away from the world.

Perhaps the most telling indicator that something was less than right was the feeling of not knowing how to enjoy free time. How was I supposed to enjoy my life if I didn’t even know what I enjoyed?
What Is a Reset? And Why Do It?

When you reset your iPod (or whatever your vice may be), you detach all unnecessary peripherals, give the item a rest, and only then do you turn things back on. That’s pretty much the method I used, though with far less purpose than this post may imply.

After two and a half weeks of cutting out obligations (including this blog), questioning hobbies, and reworking routines, a semblance of balance has been restored. It’s not a panacea, but it’s a start. And it’s been sort of wonderful. Imagine looking at your life and remembering that many of the obligations in your life are actually choices. And then happily choosing to continue them, but on your terms. That’s what a reset is all about.

If you’ve been feeling off-kilter or out of focus, you might consider trying some of these strategies:
1. Disconnect to peripherals.

Anything that’s not a vital necessary can, and perhaps should, go. (At least for the time being.) Keep going to your job, keeping parenting your children, and please, keep showering. The rest? Take a few days to consider them optional. This includes get-togethers, side projects, and any and all hobbies. Do the things you love and have a clear interest in doing, but take a break from the things that are more habit than passion. I stopped blogging, cooking, gardening, and even skipped a game night. And guess what? The world kept spinning. It was a beautiful realization.

Disconnecting to the nonessential is an excellent reminder of the obvious: they’re nonessential.
2. Take a rest.

Equally amazing is how much better a person can feel when they’re getting a decent amount of sleep. And with all the peripheral commitments on the backburner, you can actually unwind at the end of each day without jumping into a new activity that sets your mind racing.
3. Start flipping switches back on “on.”

Resetting isn’t about dropping out of your life. It’s about finding space to invite in those things that you love. Once you’re disconnected, rested, and a bit more of a blank slate, you naturally drift toward the things you’re really interested in. Jackpot! Maybe you’ll pick up your toolkit and starting tinkering with things, maybe you’ll rediscover a joy in fiction, maybe you’ll realize that not doing your regular hobbies drives you crazy. Either way, your expectations are gone, leaving you free to explore based on what your interests are now, not 10 years or six months ago.

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