What did I do this weekend? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! And guess what? It was WONDERFUL! I slept in, wore pajamas for most of the weekend, read, caught up on television shows, and sat by the pool. Most weekends and weekdays for that matter are jammed packed with work and other activities that keep me so busy, by the time I fall into bed, I pass out only to have my alarm go off several hours later to do it all over again.
so many of us get up early, get ourselves and our families ready for school and work, go to work enduring a commute, working anywhere from 8-10 hours if not more, and then just when we think we get to go home and relax we have to stop at the store to pick up things for dinner, make dinner, let the dog out, help kids with homework, work on household chores, if you are lucky find time to go the gym or read a book and then before you know it, it is time to go to bed and start all over again. Day in and day out we do this routine and rarely question, why am I doing this? What am I getting out of this? Am I even happy?
The only time we ever allow ourselves to do nothing (aka relax) is when we are on vacation. We allow ourselves to sleep in, sit on the beach, not wear a watch, and allow our moods dictate what we do and don’t do that day. How does that feel living the vacation life? It feels wonderful doesn’t it. But imagine if you lived every day like this? What if you had a life where you didn’t need a vacation to recuperate and recover from the busy, over scheduled life that you live?
When was the last time you did nothing? Or more importantly, when was the last time you did exactly what it was that you wanted to do? So many of us go through life doing what we think we “should” be doing and never stopping to ask ourselves “what do I want to do?” When you live life fulfilling the obligations that others have placed on you, working towards someone else’s definition of success, or filling your days with various activities to keep busy, you are not living life at all, you are just going through the motions of what you think is living life. One of the top five regrets of the dying is not living the life they wanted. Do you want that to be your regret when your time to move from this life to the next comes?
I know what you are thinking, this all sounds nice but I don’t have the luxury to do nothing all day. I can’t relax, I have bills to pay, children to feed, a house to take care of, etc. I have a family that depends on me and I have things that HAVE to get done. I get it, but what about you? Where do you fall on the list of things that have to be taken care of? Taking care of yourself is not a luxury, it is a necessity. If you don’t care of yourself no one is going to do it for you. If you have children, you are showing them by example that self care is not a priority. If you don’t care of yourself you will burn out and live a life of regret. Does that sound like living?
I think so many of us don’t understand the importance of relaxation. We must rest in order to recover and recoup for all the activities that we involve ourselves in. We need to relax so that we don’t loose sight of who we are, what we want, and where we want to go. Life is too short to be jammed packed with activities that just keep us busy and keep us distracted from what is really important; ourselves, our families, and our relationships. Life isn’t about how much money you make, how many hours you work, and how many toys you have. Life is about the connections you make and the impact you have on the world around you. When you realize that you will find yourself setting new priorities and what once seemed so important will fall away.
If you could spend a day doing exactly what you wanted to do, what would that look like? What would that feel like? Is there a way that you can incorporate that into your every day routine or maybe into your weekly routine? Start off small, maybe it is just 15 minutes of uninterrupted reading or sitting by the pool for 30 minutes when you come home from work. Think small and see how those little things make you feel. You will then find yourself craving more of those small things and will try to find ways to make the “you” time last longer.
Life isn’t about how many hours of the day are packed with activities. Life is about living the way you want to live. It is about you calling the shots and creating a life that you are proud of and happy with. You are enough, you do enough and you have enough. It’s now time to relax and enjoy life. What are you going to start doing to enjoy life?