Today we had another shortened day due to snow. The minute I heard that another snowstorm was on its way, I started thinking of all of the things I could accomplish with the extra few hours. Like Wallace, in Wallace’s Lists by Botner and Kruglik, I am a list maker. I make lists at home and at work, lists of what to pack for trips, lists of items to remember to bring to school, lists of books I need to read and movies I need to see, lists of lessons that need to be planned and materials that need to be ordered, and even lists of what I need to add to my lists.
Then, when I have some extra time (aka a delayed opening or early dismissal), I go to the list and I start attacking it, one item at a time. Some items on the list take a few minutes (Call the vet to make an appointment for Bailey to have her nails trimmed.). Others might take days, weeks, or even months (Plan summer vacation to Ireland.), but however big or small the task, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish a task and cross it off the list, or when I finish the whole list, crumple up the paper, and slam dunk it into the recylcling bin (sometimes followed by one of those quarterback dance moves).
I pride myself on my ability to work hard and get things done, but it’s really kind of a disease. I’m terrible at relaxing. I don’t know how to do nothing. I watch my husband on a shortened day, and he is able to just lie down on the couch, put his feet up, and do absolutely nothing. He’s not watching the TV or reading a book or even checking his phone for text messages. He’s just relaxing. At times, it drives me wild and I start adding more things to my list and running around the house acting busier than ever (often adding stomping feet and a bit of extra force when closing doors and cabinets). It’s like the act of seeing people relax makes me uncomfortable. I just can’t understand why he’s not taking care of all sorts of tasks that need doing.
One day at the start of summer vacation, my husband poured me a glass of wine and encouraged me to go sit on a chair in the lawn and relax. “Just sit there? Can I bring a book?”
“Just try to relax for a few minutes. Take in the day. Look around.” he suggested.
I couldn’t even sit there for 5 minutes! I got up and started pulling some weeds.
I’ve read about the importance of mindfulness and being in the moment, about the powers of meditation and being peaceful. This is a goal of mine.
I think I’ll add it to my list!