Sunday, July 12, 2015

Stop Drop and Relax

My mom says I can't sit still. When she comes to visit me lately she says I never stop.  I come home, sweep up the grains of cat litter on the floor, start dinner prep (yes, I washed my hands before!), put laundry in the machine, take laundry out, put Juliette in the bath, water the plants, etc. This is not to say I never goof off and do time-wasting activities like Facebook (oh, and I seemed to have crept up from one to two or three FB checks per day again), chilling a bit in front of mindless tv or just staring off into space.  And I try to always put some useful free time in there like playing with Juliette, too.  But my mom is right that I don't give myself a lot of downtime.
Life is not a sprint.

Even when I'm on vacation, the very definition of relaxation, I find that I am always wondering and worrying about the next step.  Where will I park? Will the hotel be decent? Will I find my way back to the highway easily?  Will the e-tickets be acceptable or should I have printed them?  Sometimes I find myself anticipating the end of the day or even the end of the vacation because then all my "challenges" will be accomplished!

This is no way to live.  Just like taking a whole bunch of pictures without really taking the time to enjoy them at the moment, I seem to be rushing through life in general.  I know that it's the journey, not just the destination.  But how can I get off the hamster wheel of mild worry and constant cleaning up only to have the house dirtied again in two seconds.  Lather, rinse, repeat, as my friend Crystal likes to say in these moments.

You might remember the old stop, drop and roll from fire prevention videos.  It's still the best thing to do in case of fire, by the way.  But why not stop, drop (whatever you're doing, as long as it's not breakable) and relax.  It could be the remedy for letting everyday stress go.  And it could prevent that drive for unattainable perfection from getting in the way of savoring life.  Or letting too much technology spoil enjoying the moment.  Sometimes I feel like saying to myself, put down the phone and no one will get hurt.  I know I'm on it too much.  But isn't everyone?  It's the acceptable addiction today. But maybe it gets in the way of unadulturated free time.  If I am always in the middle of a texting or email correspondence, it feels like I'm always in suspense.

So as my own vacation approaches, I want to be mindful of my tendency to overachieve around the house or want things just so.  The world keeps on turning even if my closet isn't organized.  And maybe life is still fun when things aren't planned out to the last detail.  Maybe it's even more fun.  It's ok if we get a little lost on our road trip.  Doesn't that make for a great memory after (as long as knock down-drag out fights don't ensue)?  And I will try to put down that darn phone and FB in favor of face-to-face interactions.  People, not just pixels.  Ok, a few pixels, too.

Let's stop racing and let's start living.

1 comment:

Lindle said...

I agree we are hooked on our technology. A storm just wiped out all of our DVR recordings, but they are just TV shows and movies. They aren't people. They can be replaced, eventually.
And what annoys me sometimes is seeing so many people excessively photographing the moments---rather than letting our eyes and ears and brain just take it all in. Snapshots are important, but are we really LIVING the moments, or just trying to get the best angle? The best lighting? So, yes, we do need to "Stop, Drop (the camera/phone), and Relax into the experience.