I roll over. My blanket is lying gently across my lap. My pillow is positioned perfectly and I am comfortable. But I am awake.
Today is a vacation day and I am awake.
My thoughts start to appear like kernels in a popcorn popper. Slowly at first. One, resolved. Another, forgotten. Then another and another until I finally give up and start stirring, no longer comfortable.
The pains in my body start to wake up. My neck is stiff, my shoulders are tight. Stress and tension are likely the culprits.
I think about the day that lays ahead and have a flop of anxiety. I only have one thing I have to do…….then what?!
People with anxiety and panic do well with structured activity.
“It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.”
It’s true. I do better when I am busy. It doesn’t mean I don’t suffer, I do but being busy forces me to keep moving through the physical symptoms while it helps curb the mental ones.
So I look out over my day and have uneasiness churning. I need a plan.
Sometimes I’m angry that the days of me being grateful I’m off work, making big plans about spending the day in my PJ’s watching movies, playing games, napping and reading seem to be gone.
Why do I have to work non-stop in order to survive?!
Why? It doesn’t really matter does it. It doesn’t matter that I would like a day of quiet. A day of no deafening mind chatter. It doesn’t matter that I need a vacation……from myself!
That should be an option shouldn’t it?!
When we are at odds with our loved ones, friends or tired of dealing with work, we can go on vacation, leave, go away for hours or days. But we can’t secretly plan a getaway from ourselves!
Wouldn’t it be amazing?
So, we need to find a way to “take vacation from ourselves” in another way.
Massage, nature, hobbies, crafts…think back to those things you may have done when you were young.
As I look back I realize I was doing something all of the time. I was never just sitting and watching TV. Well, as a child or teen, yes I did, but it wasn’t often.
I would go sit in a park for hours and watch ducks, birds, people. I would drive to the woods and hang out. Just “be”, I would do crafts, write, sing, play my guitar or go for a walk.
My mind and my hands were always busy and on rare days I wanted to plop and do nothing? I did nothing while reading or crafting.
As we age, we change.
We forget how go take care of ourselves. Yes, as a youth I took better care of myself than I do as an adult,
If I was hungry, I ate. Thirsty, I drank water. When I wasn’t, I didn’t.
When I was bored, I found something to do. Play ball, swim, go outside and imagine what life was happening in an ant hill, climb a tree, walk around, read a book or build a fort.
As adults, many of those things become a chore.
Swimming. Unless you have a pool, you have to pack up your things. Drive to the pool, get dressed, get in the pool and then…. What…..
As a kid I would have run excitedly and jumped in. Tried to touch the bottom, skimmed the top and bottom of the pool while pretending to be a shark or diver in the ocean.
We frown on adults who do the same. They scare people or we think they are “special”.
So as an adult, we have our composure when we arrive and adultly (my new word) slip into the pool.
We rigidly do laps with a look of restraint and indicate we are taking the task at hand seriously by furrowing our brows.
We don’t splash, kick or shriek for joy.
If you think I’m incorrect, the next time you go to your gym, try screaming “The last one in is a rotten egg!” While you run, throwing your things to the ground and do a cannonball in the middle of the pool.
Let me know how that works out for ya….
Over the last week I have been compelled to return to some behaviors of my youth. (Sounds like it from that sentence structure doesn’t it…)
I want to play.
I NEED to play.
The problem is, I’ve lived my very grown up life, working in my very grown up jobs, every grown up day which makes me realize….I have very few grown up friends.
I’ve been so busy working, I have no one to play with.
My spouse sure isn’t going to do it. Spouse is that kid who sat on the edge of the field during P.E. because they had a note from their mom excusing them from all activities. Not because anything was wrong but because spouse didn’t want to participate.
So I have decided to start a campaign.
The people I do know….are going to be my friends by the end of summer! Well, some closer than others….
I’m beginning by setting up a gathering. Several are coming so that’s a fantastic start. It means they WANT to be there.
Next, I’ll invite someone to lunch here and there. A little one on one time to get to know them better.
I’ll arrange activities and play dates.
Because I look at them and see the same…..
Perhaps I’ve come to the depths of pain because God saw I was going to end up alone and wanted me to do better.
I can’t serve Him if I’m miserable and alone…..
So today folks, just once….act like a child.
Blow bubbles in your drink or have a snowball fight…..
It may just awaken something familiar and fun.