Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Day Off Can Teach Us to Live In the Moment

Yesterday was my first official day off from posting since I began Even Green Boots Leave Trails.

It was very exciting for me, and I plunged right into working hard at not working.  Seriously.  That whole "taking a day off" thing turned out to be rather difficult for me.  The thing is, I've hard-wired my brain into working every day for almost an entire year.  Because of this, the difficulties inherent in the task of relaxing - which should be easy - were astoundingly high.

I tried to shut my brain down by watching tv.  

It seems to work quite well for people in general, so I elected to watch an episode of Castle that I'd missed.  I love that show.  Sure, it's fluff... but it's good fluff!

Thought bubbles: "Wow!  Rick Castle did a great job of Macguyvering that old, two-way radio so that he could get help!" "And Beckett's decision to use it to send an SOS? Brilliant example of reuse!"

Yeah.  That didn't work so well.

I then decided to do a bit of light reading.

A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan.  (Book cover)

That didn't work out the way I planned, either.  I'll bet you can guess which book I'll be reviewing sometime in the future, right?

After a while, I realized that I was spending an awfully long time simply trying not to work.  I'm sure it'll get easier in the future, but for now I've decided to do the same thing with my days off that I do when I'm trying to fall asleep:

Just let my thoughts go wherever they want.

No pressure.  If I think about something that I can use in a future blog post, that's perfectly ok.  It's good, even.  I just need to step back and not worry.  Enjoy myself.

If enjoying myself means that I think about the blog when I don't have to, then maybe that's not a bad thing.  Maybe it means that I'm on the right track - that I've found something I love, and that I've found something truly fulfilling.

Deep down, that's what we all want, right?

Yesterday made me realize just how lucky I am.

Whenever I see those posts on Facebook dealing with "the Mondays", "Hump day", or "hooray it's Friday", they don't appeal to me.  They don't appeal to me because I'm happy with where I am in life.  I'm never upset with my job - I look forward to it.

It can be difficult, as shown by the fact that I decided to take a day off each week, but that's really very small in the grand scheme of things.  If this was the biggest problem most people had with their jobs, just imagine how amazing the world would be!

 I suppose that what I'm trying to say is that life is what we make it.  

The more enjoyment we take from life, the better it is.  We each need to find what it is that truly makes us happy, and run with it.  Just let go.  Every day is a new opportunity, and we should be glad for it, rather than complaining about a return to drudgery, being relieved that the week is half over, or showing excitement over the end of a long, stressful week.

In my college theater courses, I was always reminded to be "in the moment", and really, that's a good life lesson, as well.

Live in the moment.

Don't stress about the past.  It's over.  The mistakes you made have already happened.  They only haunt you if you allow them to.  Learn from them, and move on.

Don't worry overly much about the future.  The future will come when it's time.  Making yourself sick over it will only lessen the beauty of the present.

And we all need a bit of beauty in our lives.

It's all around us.  We just need to recognize it and allow that beauty to remind us of how precious life truly is - not just our own lives, but all of it... even those weeds growing in  between the cracks in the sidewalk.

Find what you love and use it to help you live in the moment, and create a happy life.  

Take all the time you need - It took me 35 years, as well as a day off, after all!


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