“If you need to get something done today, then do it. If not, then relax.”
How good are you at following the above guidelines?
The first sentence is natural for me. The second sentence is harder.
I relax plenty, but often overthink and thus over complicate it. The tension for me is in accepting and welcoming – rather than justifying – the act of relaxing or playing or doing nothing. Why is an explanation needed for any of these things? And when did this change?
My son said the opening quote. He was home sick and observed me working on my computer all day. He told me I should work when I need to, but when my work for the day is done I need to relax. Maybe there’s something beautiful – although when my kids say it I don’t find it so beautiful – in giving ourselves a chance to “be bored” and have “nothing to do”. What age are we when we forget what that’s like? Let’s remember.
“I’m relaxing.” Try saying it. Imagine the surge of joy in the present with something as simple as owning the times we relax. Or to go even closer to the edge try responding with “I’m daydreaming.” Ozan Varol’s piece this week on the hype of being present is a terrific 3 minute read.
Enjoy and own and share the times that you’re relaxing or chilling? Seems weird except if you’re on vacation. I wonder why that is? Perhaps it’s easier to relate to and commiserate about busyness? Who can’t relate to busy? It’s a fail-safe conversation starter. But how interesting is it? Seems more status quo and comfortable than interesting. And if you’re so busy that you’re telling people how busy you are, then why in the world are you stopping to talk about it?
We might have full days, but what value or joy does making that the headline of our lives bring to us and others? Is busy really something that describes the activities in our lives or is it more accurately defined as a mindset?
Why is being “busy” so mainstream and has it always been this way or, if not, when did it become “a thing”? And why? I need to ask Adam Grant for the real answers, but in the meantime let’s do an unofficial social science experiment. Let’s change the dialogue.
What would be different if we were as intentional about relaxing as we were with work deadlines? Let’s try it. When your friend calls and asks, “What are you doing?” Reply with, “Relaxing in the beautiful 80-degree spring day. You?”