Monday, April 6, 2015

I have no idea how to relax

It's Saturday afternoon as I type this and I don't know what to do with myself.

Which is a novel thing. Normally if I'm not at work or sleeping or running or engaged in some other part of my daily routine, I'm checking things off the to-do list. Running errands. Completing some household chore.

The point is, I'm always doing. And I'm afraid I haven't the first clue how not to do.

So far today I've done my running and Bible reading, I got the oil changed in the car, I went to the market and picked up a bunch of produce, I made my weekly run to CVS, I dropped off some clothes at the dry cleaner, I emptied the dishwasher, I vacuumed the living room and our bedroom, and I cleaned up the kitchen.

Other than helping Jack nail down his memory verse for Sunday School, I have nothing left on my to-do list today. And there are three more hours before Melanie and I leave to attend a hockey game tonight.

That's three hours available to do anything I want. So what do I do? I sit down to write this blog post. Not because I particularly want or need to (I'm writing this on February 28 and you're reading it in early April...I'm way, way ahead of the game right now, blog-wise). I'm doing it because I feel like it's my duty. Like it's another thing that has to get done. That doesn't seem right.

What would a normal, non-task-oriented person do? Probably relax. Take a nap. Read a book. Watch some TV. I could do any of those things, but I know that while I did them, there would be a very vocal part of my brain saying to me, "Think of everything you can get done in three hours. You're wasting the time. YOU'RE WASTING THE TIME! GET UP AND ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING!"

Which I suppose is the problem. Relaxation is accomplishing something. Your mind and body need downtime.

But I guess when you're married and a homeowner and a parent, you just come to assume that there's always something that needs to be done. And right now, other than washing the kitchen floor or something, I suppose, there's nothing urgent left on the To Be Done List.

And that makes me nervous. I assume I'm forgetting something.

Terry tells me I should get a hobby. I do have a hobby in running, I guess. But I do that as much out of obligation as I do for enjoyment. Gotta stay ahead of the family history of heart disease!

In the end, I know she's right. I definitely have to learn to relax.

I know what I'll do: I'll enroll in a course on relaxation. I'm sure they exist. And maybe there'll be homework. And class notes! I can buy a binder or something and keep everything organized. I can make a weekly relaxation to-do list: "Things to Do to Relax."

I will get everything done first and I'll be the best student in the class. It'll be great!

I'm totally going to be the world's most intense relaxer.

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