It's all too much for me to take
The love that's shining all around here
All the world is birthday cake
So take a piece but not too much
- "It's All Too Much," The Beatles
This song seems to be getting stuck in my head more and more lately, as I wonder if I've sliced off more cake than I can finish. I'm not just talking about the overwhelming details of daily life (although lately tasks like searching for jobs, packing, and saying goodbyes have consumed my soul in a swell of stress).
No, I'm talking about that ever-looming pressure to see, hear, watch, visit, eat, and DO it all - especially online - even within the confines of an average 24-hour day.
I don't know about you all, but I'd classify myself as an experience junkie. Not the kind who has to go skydiving and swimming with the sharks and all that; I just mean that I really am driven to experience as much as I can, to the point that I'm constantly making lists of life goals. Here are some sample list titles from my planner, email drafts, and the word documents spread across my harddrive:
- Movies I want to see
- Television shows to catch up on
- Where I long to travel
- Restaurants to sample
- Links to revisit (yes, really)
- New music to listen to
- Books to read
- Recipes to try
- Blogs to check out
- Blogs to check out
- Bands I'd like to see in concert
...and they go on.
At the end of my life, I want to say I spent most of my waking hours making memories with loved ones. But I also want to have pursued my passions, and absorbed as much mental enrichment as possible -- so does that make consuming endless entertainment okay?
What do you think? How do you deal with the pressure to catch up on your blog reader, see all those new festival films, listen to buzzworthy bands, try the best restaurants in town, and still have a life? My coping strategy is apparently to make lists for later and comfort myself that I can do it all "someday."
But if I'm honest with myself, I know deep down that there just isn't enough time. Many of the lists I make must remain forever unchecked. It's a truth I'll have to reconcile with one day, as I fight to get over my "gotta catch 'em all" mentality and the resulting anxiety.