Dear Diary: A Week Without Work

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If you’re wondering at what stage of holidaying-in-the-USA I’m at, I’m currently eating Cheetos in bed whilst wearing a New York cap and watching a TV programme about bacon.

Don’t make me come home, OK?

Although, to be fair, I did spend a whole 10 minutes Googling the best local places to get an acai bowl this morning because my stomach is like hey hun, wanna lay off the pancakes or nah? I don’t even know how to pronounce acai. Or what it tastes like.

(Spoiler: we didn’t go for acai bowls because LOL it’s Memorial Day weekend and everyone in the world is in New York and girl ain’t gonna queue in the thirty degree heat for a breakfast made entirely from fruit. I got a cinnamon doughnut instead.)

Anyway, the point of this post is to tell you that WOW AMAZING, today marks an entire week since I turned my out of office on.

Which, wouldn’t be such a big woah deal, if it wasn’t for the fact that today also marks the first time, since my blogging journey began, that I’ve gone a whole week without reading my emails.

YOU WHAT.

I use my out of office all the time. It’s a handy little note sent out to people that alerts them to the fact I *might* be a bit slower at replying to them because y’know, time differences and lack of wifi and getting drunk on frozen margaritas and all that. But every single time I’ve been away, I’ve been lurking in my inbox as much as I’ve been lurking on Instagram.

I get serious email FOMO. I like to know exactly what’s landing in there. I am addicted to the opportunities my inbox brings.

I am addicted to the mystery and possibilities it holds. Whereas logging into Instagram might hold a handful of new followers, a casual hundred likes and a sting of comments, my inbox can hold anything. Literally anything.

It could hold an invite to go on Trek America and explore Utah. It could hold Armani flippin’ Exchange asking for my media kit for an upcoming campaign. Or it could hold one of you guys reaching out with the kindest of words, making me feel all fuzzy and warm in my belly.

It has a rather possessive hold on my mood, which isn’t exactly the one.

Anyway, we arrived at Gatwick last Monday, all excited and full of BUT WHAT SHALL WE ORDER FROM WAGAMAMA AND WHAT FILMS WILL BE ON THE PLANE. You know that holiday feeling, that dreamy over-excited feeling that’s *almost* better than actually being on holiday.

I’d laid off the caffeine and the sugar that morning especially, with the hope of avoiding one of my adrenaline headaches that have been plaguing me in recent months. I get them whenever I travel or whenever I have a particularly exciting day. Yes, I am basically a five-year-old child at a birthday party and I just can’t help it, OK?

I’d told myself New York would be a real holiday. Except not completely a real holiday because lol imagine coming all the way here and not Instagramming everything and well, better just scrape together a cute weekly vlog because THINK OF THE CONTENT (!!!!!). And yet, we arrived at the airport and I was getting myself in a right mental fluster because hey better Snapchat that and ooh I’ll film that and omg where is my passport and can you take an outfit photo and is our flight boarding and should we get snacks for the plane and shit fuck the world just broke because I haven’t Instagrammed today and I *better* just check my emails before we board this flight.

And then hey whaddya know, a headache the size of Canada came creeping into my life.

And at that moment, I realised I was holidaying all wrong. Like, really stinkin’ wrong. And so, I vowed that I would leave my inbox untouched until I stepped foot back on British soil.

Because my inbox was the thing that could wait, my inbox was the thing that wasn’t part leisure part work, the way my social channels are.

And I mean, I don’t want to be completely over-dramatic, but SWEET JESUS, PRAISE THE LORD, it has changed my life.

Or y’know, my life for the past week.

I only logged in twice. Once to print off my helicopter ride tickets and another time to send a *slightly* aggressive email to the company who run the ads on my site because of that Seaworld ad last week. I’ve decided to cease working with them because I just can’t risk them sicking up that sort of horrific company across my content without permission. No ta pal.

But in both circumstances, I didn’t even look at the other emails hovering about in my inbox. I squinted my eyes so my vision was blurred and I could shut out all the subject line buzzwords like TOPSHOP screaming at me.

OK, yeah, alright, I *might* have seen something about a Topshop event, but I swear I didn’t open it. I just clicked outta that inbox and got to taking in the sweet views of Manhattan around me.

So yeah, I have been able to nap. I have been able to nap and sleep at any given moment on any given day like Hannah Gale circa 2014. I have felt like me. I have felt calmer and happier and lighter and less like a slave to the internet. And it has been like driving on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64. All bright colours and happiness and smooth-sailing.

We make such a big song and dance about SO ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA, that we forget about the other internet addictions. And we don’t see the hold they have on our lives or the extent to which they affect us every single blasted day.

The change in my happiness and my headaches and my feeling of being in control of my life has changed so much this week. I feel back. I feel inspired. Heck, I feel pretty bloody brilliant.

Aside from the bloat. I am so ready to get back on that avocado and pilates wagon next week. At least for a few days y’know?

But it got me thinking about how much I’d like to live more when we get home. How much more I’d like to detach myself from the internet out of working hours. And so, going forward, there will be no more emails after dinner time. There will be walks and swims and baking and colouring in and audio books and Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, but there won’t be emails.

And, unless I’m crying into a hormonal sofa next of blankets and snacks, there won’t be endless hours counting down til bedtime where I refresh the same Instagram pictures 43747 times.

I haven’t bought phone data whilst out here, which has meant I’ve only had internet access when I’ve stumbled upon some free WIFI, and it’s been a right handsome dream to actually have proper conversations with Chris. About the important things in life like wine and the National Geographic channel and the cats.

I like this real-life life I’ve built around me. So here’s to appreciating it more and making more time for it, without the distraction of OMG AN EMAIL OFFERING ME $12 TO PUT A LINK ON MY BLOG, HOW QUAINT.

And on that note, I need to shower and get ready for dinner. I’m pretty pumped for one last night of cocktails and chicken wings with bae before I have to allow the internet to come a-creppin’ back into my life…

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