I am very organized and LOVE to be productive. For fun, I read books on increasing productivity. Sick, I know. Relaxing used to always make me feel guilty. But that is a false guilt. There is nothing wrong with taking reasonable amounts of time to relax.
Slowly I am coming to terms with the fact that there will ALWAYS be something I “should” be doing. So if I am going to relax, I have to just decide to relax.
Many times I fail miserably at this, but little by little I am getting better at it. Here is what I have learned so far:
#1 – Put time on the schedule to relax. Some people may find this crazy, as schedules to them are the exact opposite of relaxing. I have found that when I schedule in time to relax, I am able to enjoy it more because “it’s part of the plan”, and not just me being lazy. If I know that I have time planned later on to do the “should dos”, it lets me enjoy the time now to just BE.
#2 – Find what really relaxes me. For years people would ask me what I did for fun, and I had no real response. I worked, I cleaned, I cooked, I was a Mom, I was a wife…when was I supposed to do anything else? Now I have made a conscious decision to find and do things that relax me:
Reading a good book, cooking up a storm, going for walks by myself, blogging, talking to a good friend, spending time with my kids, browsing at the library, taking a drive with my husband listening to old Spanish songs, singing at the top of my lungs at the family dance party, cuddling in bed with all 3 kids on a lazy Saturday morning, staying at home all day in my PJs.
#3 – Sometimes you just gotta drop the plan and relax. Yesterday I was “supposed” to clean. Instead, I took the two girls to the botanical gardens. It was a magical time. Watching Sofia go crazy with glee when she saw the fish. Seeing Maria jump up down with excitement over seeing a bonsai tree. Getting “lost” in the maze. Having Maria tell me this was the most beautiful place!
That sure beats cleaning a toilet any day.
Life is a gift.
To not enjoy it would be like giving my daughter a new doll, and seeing her put it on a shelf and not play with it until everything in her life was perfect. As a mother, I would be sad, I would want her to enjoy the doll.
God is the same with us, life is a gift. He wants us to enjoy the journey, and part of that is learning that sometimes it’s okay to just sit back and relax.
“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b