The art of… slowing down.
Take a bath. No, honestly you don’t smell in an unfavorable way, but yes, you do look like you could use a moment to yourself. Couldn’t we all?
Life is hectic; this is no news to you. Like everyone else I have a grocery list of goals to accomplish on a daily basis. Work, family, my vocation and other commitments all add up to extremely busy.
While these distractions are useful at times and I suppose NO ONE can be productive all the time, it occurs to me that sometimes even I, at age fifty need to “take a break”. While there are the occasional word game or perhaps a family movie, these things always seem to happen in the middle of another set of “busyness”.
In my last review, my boss asked me what I do for myself. I was surprised at the question; it seemed to have really nothing to do with my work. I stumbled through the answer as I really had no clue what to say. He smiled, and said,” every Tuesday afternoon, I disappear, I turn off my cell phone, and that time is JUST FOR ME.” I sat in silence for a few moments trying to process all he was sharing with me. He went on to explain his reasoning for such an action, he suggested taking some time for him wasn’t selfish, it was vital to his well being. He suggested perhaps I find my own “Tuesday afternoon”.
I remember leaving my review thinking that was a fun idea, however my many roles including family, work and not to mention entrepreneurship would prevent me from ever taking advantage of his suggestion. I remember thinking he just didn’t understand my life.
Then one day- I took a walk on lunch. I left my cell phone at my desk, and I just took a walk. Normally I work through lunch, life as a captionist seems to dictate that. I didn’t that day. I took a walk and it was amazing how I felt at the end of it. Not only had I taken a moment to clear my head, but to exercise and refocus. I let go, I enjoyed the spring air, I took in the sights of spring. The rest of the day went swimmingly well, I not only got my work done well, but I was downright joyful about it.
At the end of the school year, I brought my boss chocolate chip cookies, and I thanked him for his words of wisdom. I believe that I am a better human when I remember to take a “Tuesday afternoon” now and again.
Since then, I am honest to admit not always good about taking a moment for myself, I seem to forget and have to relearn the lesson that it is not only okay to take some time for me, it is vital.
My loving home is a very busy place. My children are still at home, my two year old granddaughter still runs screaming through the house and I forget with that giant “to do” list sitting on the table, that I need to step out and take a walk, or find a sketch pad and go to the beach, grab my camera and explore downtown architecture or… take a bath. These things are indulgent perhaps, in our quick shower world, but I believe necessary to feed the soul.
Today, I invite you to find a moment, and take it just for you. The rest of the world will keep on turning, I promise. It can also turn without your attention for an hour. Go ahead… do it! You DESERVE it.