So, it’s nearly time to head back to work after a long span of time off. Delicious. And I also feel very lucky to have a job that I like – and that affords me a living wage as well as the feeling that I am doing something worthwhile. But unscheduled time still has to be about the best thing going.
One of the things that I learned about myself — perhaps most especially when I was entirely alone up at ‘the lake’ — was how difficult it is for me to relax. When you’re busy you don’t notice it – but alone, with absolutely no demands on my time, I found myself often thinking that I “should” be doing something else or more of whatever I was doing.
The sunset is a great example. So many gorgeous sunsets and sunrises … and I was almost uncomfortable in their presence. How could I appreciate them enough? I’d take a photo … then go back outside five minutes later to take another. But what was I trying to do or get? Could I not just sit still and let the beauty wash over me and appreciate it and let it be?
Apparently not. There was something more that I should be doing or thinking or feeling.
To my way of thinking, “should” is not a word that’s a happy accompaniment for any sort of a vacation — or any moment of my time, for that matter. But there it was, quietly insistent. And I can’t blame anyone or anything else … it was coming from inside of me!
So, I’m gonna be keeping an eye on that in the days ahead. Just observing how often I start to relax, only to be jolted to attention by that impulse, that “should.” It’s a habit of longstanding and I’m glad to have noticed it so I can set about changing it.
And since it’s a habit, I started thinking about what I could replace it with. Meditation came to mind. Simple and of the moment – the idea is to relax and do nothing. To just focus on my breathing is a perfect answer to my “should.” So I am making a concerted effort to meditate more.
Writing is another ting that I did a bit of on my vacation and would like to continue … another habit to get back into. And then of course there’s exercise. The older I get, the more I notice how much ground I lose when I take a few days off and stop exercising. So maintaining and building capacity is high on my list. The FitBit has helped on that front, and there’s lots more to do.
So, guess what? Being the geek that I am, I was very pleased to find an app that is aimed at helping you develop new habits … reinforcing them by giving you a place to set goals and track what you’re doing.
It’s called HabitBull and it’s looking like a fun way to give myself a boost toward getting healthier, digging a little deeper, and letting myself be still in the moment.
I’ll keep you posted … blogging, after all, is one of the things I’ll be tracking.