The more I see the less I know the more I like to let it go…
-Red Hot Chili Peppers
I am in one of those moments, one of those phases in time where it seems as though time itself disappears before my eyes. I feel like I get up and by the time I finish the essentials, my day is gone and I am left wondering where it went. I feel like I am on this treadmill and it is on an increasing incline but I have to keep up the same pace. I know that I am not unique in this feeling, that I am one of many. Very many. And I also do not think that it is purely because I am now a mother although trying to accomplish things with a baby hanging onto your knees is a challenge, to say the least. I have felt this way before when working full time, and before when going to school full time and working. I have always imagined the next stage of my life would be easier and more relaxed and it has not proved itself as true. I think that the more you try to do, the less you actually do. It’s like the harder you try, the harder it is? And the older I get, the more I realize how much life likes to work in these strange Zen Koans. I am beginning to think that life is trying to teach me a lesson that I refuse to learn: to relax!
I don’t know why it is, although I have some ideas. There is the Protestant Work ethic, of course, that used religion to promote productivity. This work ethic has created an underlying group mentality that urges Americans to do more and more and have more and more. The Protestant Work Ethic said the way we would be judged for heaven would be by our possessions, by what we had accumulated through our lifetime by our hard work. And now we’ve just exchanged the ideal of heaven with keeping up with the Jones’.
Other countries don’t believe in work the way we do. I appreciate those countries, and would love to be like them but I can’t help that I have this protestant work ethic mind set deeply embedded in my consciousness whether I like it or not. I want to get things done so that I can prove I am worthwhile, so that I will be loved and appreciated. But do you know what? I am the luckiest woman in the world because tonight I was snuggled under a blanket watching mindless television. I remarked to my husband how I was so frustrated with myself, there I was with all these things to do and I wasn’t even relaxing with a good book (so I could later check “read good book this week” off my secret list) all I was doing was watching mindless television which did me absolutely no good at all. He looked at me in his quiet way and said “I like to see you doing absolutely nothing especially when it’s mindless because it is relaxing and you SHOULD relax.” Hmmmm. I think that’s unconditional love at its finest. I would like to see me relax, too. Sometimes you have to not do anything in order to get anything done! That said, I think I’m going to get back to my Rachel Ray!
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