Monday, June 29, 2009
Should I Relax, or be Productive?
"What did you accomplish this weekend?"
I hear that question almost as much as I ask it. Did I have a productive weekend, I wonder? And why is it I feel that I have to have accomplished a great deal not only during the week, but also on Saturday and Sunday? Whatever happened to a relaxing weekend, or even keeping the Sunday as a day of rest?
I'm not a workaholic, perfectionist or Type A personality. But I also don't enjoy puttering or sitting around and I hate having the television on during the day. Like many people, I guess I don't really know how to relax. Does a vacation sound relaxing? I know few people who come home from a vacation feeling anything but absolutely exhausted (and facing piles of laundry to do.) When I go home to visit family in Vermont, I am so short of time I try to pack everything in and visit everyone, and end up having little quality time with anyone. The only real vacation I took was to Disneyworld, where we woke up early every morning, followed an itinerary to make sure we experienced the most desired shows and rides, and stayed out until well after midnight, walking from parks to bus stops to hotels until our feet ached. I'm sure there are some vacationers out there who know how to sit on the beach, bask in the sun, enjoy leisurely dinners and come home refreshed, but I've never met one.
So, just like vacation time, I've never considered having a purely leisurely weekend. This past weekend I cleaned the fridge, went to a high school graduation, shopped for my church's 200th Birthday Party celebration, not to mention regular tasks such as cooking meals and walking the dog. Sunday I went to church, worked outside, weeded the garden, organized a closet, critiqued some stories, and called Mom.
I wonder if I can re-train my thinking. Can I ever feel good about abandoning the To-Do list and putting my feet up, visiting with an old friend, swaying on the garden swing with my husband, spitting watermelon seeds with my son, throwing a stick to my dog?
Maybe, in a way of thinking, that's productive.
What I Learned from My Dog: Appreciate every moment of every day. Kelly runs down the stairs, ears flopping, tail wagging. She picks up a toy joyfully. She doesn't do anything really important. But she is there in each moment, living it.