Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Art of Relaxation...

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and Philosopher once said “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." But I think the Prophet Jeremiah says it best in Lamentations 3:22-23 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Every day that we arise we should be thankful for another day and act accordingly. It is with this mindset that I set out this morning...a planned vacation day. I went to a scheduled appointment and was out of that office by 8:45 AM. With the rest of the day before me I automatically started to plan all the things I wanted to get done with all this free time And as I did I began to feel anxiety kicking in but made myself stop and remember what a co-worker said the other day. While talking to her about how I feel myself rushing even when I’m suppose to be doing the recreational things I really like doing on my days off. She said a simple statement “You should not plan so many things for your free time”. So simple and yet so true. I have a habit of mapping out my day, even the route I want to take to make sure I get oodles of things done during my free time, when really I should let it be just what it is, a free time to relax and enjoy!

So back to 8:45 AM and I’m saying “Wait a minute! It’s my day off and I’m going to enjoy it!” Too early to shop so I head to one of my favorite places for breakfast, Panera Bread, where I know I can get a great cup of coffee and something yummy to eat. On the way in I see the tables and umbrellas set up outside and know that is where I want to park myself for the next hour. As I walk in and smell the aromas of fresh baked goods and cinnamon, I begin to relax. I choose a miniature Spinach Bacon Soufflé and a medium coffee. A young man at the coffee bar looks back at me while I’m waiting in line to apologize for taking so long to prep his coffee and warm his cinnamon roll. Normally if I’m in a rush, my response would be a quick obligatory smile and maybe a nod of my head. But this fine relaxing morning, out of my mouth comes "Take your time…please…that is what is wrong with the world today…everyone is rushing.” Did I just say that? The Anxiety Queen? What can I say but relaxation has kicked in and I’m riding high! (And I didn’t even have my coffee yet). The young man looks at me first with caution as if to say “Who is this crazy lady” and then he smiles and as he’s taking his Cinnamon roll out of the microwave he says real thoughtful, “ You know…you’re right…we rush too darn much! Thank you and have a great day.”

After prepping my coffee, I head outside to sit at one of the umbrella tables to enjoy the sunshine, mild breeze and classical music being piped through the speakers. As I’m enjoying my food and setting, birds begin to chirp, sing and draw closer. I feel like Disney’s Snow White in the forest and is so relaxed I want to sing a response to their chirping. I KNOW the birds are begging for crumbs (I’ve seen that look before in my dog Bruno) but for now I’m relaxed, chillin’ and can pretend that the sweet little birdies are serenading just for me and I breathe deeply and relax.

As I kept that same attitude of making the most of the day and enjoying it without rushing, I had a great time. I shopped and got some great bargains. My black sweater I bought in Colorado from Dillard’s that was destroyed in my basement flood of December 2010 was replaced today with a fine black knit Jones of New York gorgeous sweater and a beautiful jacket (same brand name) for a fraction of the cost! And I just had a great relaxing time…no plans, just enjoying the free time.

I am on a quest to really learn how to enjoy the time God has given me. Years of being caregiver for a loved one can take its toll on mind, body and spirit; much sorrow, sadness, anxiety and depression. And though I would do it all over again for my precious late husband, I strive now to “press on towards the mark of the high calling”. When I arise I thank God for another day, a day He has blessed me with…and He whispers to me “Relax…enjoy…”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I felt like I was sitting at panera with you! This is fantastic!! "Relax ... and enjoy,"!!!
Love it;!!