I have a confession to make, I have a very hard time actually relaxing. For one, I haven’t taken a proper holiday in years -my bad. But mostly, I just get too wound up in my “to-do” list. Now, I’m not talking just the “1) Do laundry. 2) Pick up groceries.” kind of lists. I’m talking about all those things that whirl around us in a world of runaway news and new fangled ideas that people try to convince us we all need to care about. Could we do everything on these lists? Absolutely. Do we have to? F*** NO!
Musing about this situation, I’ve come to understand that what I’m doing is spreading my focus too thin. I’m too accustomed to working on everything all at once. Multi-tasking is a bad habit, and its spreading like weeds overtaking a flowerbed. In fact, from now on let’s consider that multi-tasking and the associated guilt that goes along with not being able to actually do everything all at once, are both weeds. We just don’t need those weeds in the gardens of our hearts and minds. So, I’m going to pull out my calendar today, and I’m going to make time to pursue activities that I find relaxing, to weed my inner garden. Like chilling my sparkly eye mask, brewing a cup of herbal tea, and snuggling up for a peaceful cuppa. After all, with that mask on, I’m not going to be running out the door to run errands!
Sometimes I need a little push (okay, all the time and a big push) to just stop doing and lean into being in the moment. The thing is, relaxing is like learning dance steps, after a while muscle memory kicks in and it feels really natural. I’ve been pursuing the doing for so long, that the simply being feels foreign to me, and I aim to change that. After all, hedonism and hygge require participation in the pleasure of the present moment. 99% of the time, the present moment is a pretty great place to be. I lose sight of that too often, and with so many wonderful things going on this year, I don’t actually want to miss a moment. So, I’m thinking back, ten or fifteen years ago, before I lost sight of what really mattered. I’m remembering what I used to enjoy doing, the things that gave me so much pleasure, and I’m making a little list so that I can begin again. So that I can activate that old muscle memory and conjure a better way of living my life out of thin air.
What magic can you work this year to begin slowing down to catch up with yourself? What pleasures have you set aside because you just couldn’t see how to make time for them along with everything else? Dump the crap you don’t need -and let’s be honest, you probably can’t do much about it anyway, so why worry? Instead, maybe it’s time to reinitiate the evening constitutional, as I have done. I listen to an audiobook and do laps at the local indoor track. Bonus: I’ll be ready for the walking involved in my upcoming UK Holiday! How about blocking out one evening a week and making it movie night? Try retiring to the bedroom half an hour earlier, then just read a book or a magazine before your turn in. Or take yourself out for a nice dinner (or make it at home, but to the nines with candles and good china). Candlelit bath? Mani-pedi? What about getting your friends together and having a low-key potluck/drinks party? Darlings, just pick something you’ve been “too busy” to do, and make it your new, good habit in 2018. Craft something magical for yourself, you deserve it!