This week finds me on a camping vacation, sitting by a beautiful lake at a lovely campsite. I am trying (really quite hard) to relax and unwind, I just don’t seem to be quite programmed to do this easily.
To be honest, the first couple of days went well. I was able to lounge around quite comfortably and have an icy beverage while chatting it up with some wonderful friends. I did not even feel guilty once for doing “nothing”. However, day 5 has arrived and I am starting to feel antsy and unsettled. I have come to the conclusion that I am having a hard time overcoming the feeling that “I should be doing something”.
When I mentioned this aloud, somehow making it all the more real, I realized that not too often in my life do I ever completely stop. I know that there are a lot of us out there like this. A co-worker once said that she read a saying that said something like, “A woman’s mind is like an internet browser that has about eight million tabs open.” I couldn’t have agreed more. And the same goes for some men that I know too. I truly believe that for most of us, our minds never quit.
True enough, I have found myself on my “holiday” sitting lakeside with my iPhone in my hand searching for registration dates for my daughter’s swimming and skating clubs, scanning emails for information in regards to my son’s hockey programs, and planning and organizing our upcoming Vacation Bible School. It has been hard to completely get away from all of that, especially when they are first and foremost on my mind.
While it feels that I “should” be relaxing and rejuvenating myself, I do, somewhat, feel guilty about it. Maybe because it is not something that I normally make time to do.
Oh sure, in the regular world, I take some time in the morning to wake up with my coffee, play my word games, and catch up on the gossip on Facebook. I have even snuck in a few too many games of Candy Crush in the evenings, sometimes leading to a later bedtime than I intended. But, for all intents and purposes, I don’t relax much.
This is a simple question, really, and one that, once again, I don’t have the answer to. I have been told several times by well meaning loved ones that I need to take time for me and to do what makes me happy. My reply has been that this is easier said than done. As a mother to two younger children with busy lifestyles themselves, being an active member of my church and women’s group, in addition to working full time, my life is pretty full. There doesn’t always seem to be a lot of “leftover time” for me.
Something that I realized though is that seeing my children accomplish their dreams and achieve their goals makes me happy. Helping out in my church and doing mission work with my women’s group brings me satisfaction and a sense of well being. My job in education is a rewarding, and often a satisfyingly, challenging one. These are things which help to make my life full, complete, and never dull. The extra time I find is time that I give to my friends and loved ones through social encounters, texts, and emails. Those times also bring me happiness and a sense of connection.
Whatever “leftover time” that remains are the snippets which I will catch and appreciate. Maybe it’s an hour alone to write, read, or blog. Maybe it’s a moment to catch up on something I’ve been meaning to do. Maybe it’s even a moment to pluck my eyebrows, have a bubble bath, or paint my toenails. Whatever amount of time it is, I will catch the moment and appreciate it as it is: a moment or two for me.
So, Dear Readers, I’m going to head back down to the beach. I’m going to float and lounge in the water. It’s ok if my mind is still going a mile a minute and my thoughts are elsewhere. I am not going to feel guilty about it. Yes, I’m on holiday and I should be resting and relaxing, but hey, I’m working on it.