The other weekend, my sacred two days off work were entirely ruined by a work email. A work email I read when I logged in on Friday evening. So, let’s pick this apart:
- Checking work email out of hours was a stupid thing to do
- My reaction to it was entirely my own responsibility
I can work on point 1 by simply not doing it – there’s no expectation for me to check my work inbox after 5:30pm. Point 2 however runs deeper. How do you stop the brain thinking about something you don’t want it to think about? Why did I rage for 48 hours straight, at the exclusion of enjoying time off with my family?
Because I’m a fucking idiot? Most likely.
The Stoics (and Shakespeare) teach us that there is nothing good or bad in life but thinking makes it so. Academically this is easy to accept, but like a lot of Stoic philosophy there’s a danger that it represents an aspiration rather than an action.
I made some headway by comparing the ‘bad thing’ that was the shitogram, with a real ‘bad thing’ like the real-life death or illness of a relative. This helped get it in perspective.
But, ultimately, my brain hates me and the feeling is mutual.