Doing nothing is just something that I am, unfortunately, not good at.
I don’t really know what it is about “rest and relaxation” that I find so difficult.
I am even like this on vacation, if you can believe that. I have this tendency to overbook my schedule when I should just enjoy the time away from work for relaxation.
It is just not enjoyable to me if I lay around to catch up on rest. I always have to be on the go, even if it makes me feel worse than before the vacation.
A few years ago, a friend and I went to London and we tried to cram as much as possible into the trip. I think we were there for five or six days. We had this huge to-do list and the fact that, even though we crossed off nearly all of our list items, we didn’t do absolutely everything and it made us feel largely unsatisfied.
As we are planning a second trip there, I couldn’t help but notice that we were walking miles and miles a day. I think one day we walked over 20 miles at Christmas time in the London weather. What the heck were we thinking? Why could we not just enjoy the moment and take our time?
I have found myself living in a similar sort of mindset all the time.
I’ve started to attempt practicing yoga at home and I feel like I’m not doing anything because I didn’t leave my house. There was no “start car, drive to studio” action, therefore, I accomplished nothing. Actually, just in general, a day to myself at the house feels like I am a total loser.
Does this mean that maybe I am addicted to being busy?
I did some Googling (am I addicted to Google?) to see if this was even possible. And long story short, it kind of is.
I read a really cool article by Lissa Rankin M.D. about basically exactly this. A quote of her mindset is something that I find myself thinking to myself a lot, “I’m busy, therefore I’m important and valuable, therefore I’m worthy.”
Oh my God, yes, THIS. THIS is my mindset all the time. The moral of the story with this article is that we use the behavior of “busy” to hide the things that we would rather not look at. For example, the fact that we have been avoiding balancing our checkbooks, or that we have just chosen to overlook the fact that we eat like absolute garbage.
And, like drugs and alcohol or other addictions, it feels better to be busy that it does to look at these things. It’s a numbing behavior. We can avoid, avoid, avoid, by overloading our plates time and time again with stuff to do.
Maybe I have developed these patterns that make me feel better, important, and loved when I am busy. The important thing is reminding myself that I am no less good, important, or loved when I take time to myself. Right? What has changed about me and myself because I made the decision to stay in and practice yoga at home over going to the studio? What has changed because I took a hot shower at 4pm and savored it rather than rushing at bedtime?
Nothing, right? Absolutely nothing.
I am making the commitment to enjoy my slow days more. To enjoy being at this home that I pay for and the food that I bought and the stuff that I painstakingly picked out. I am making the commitment to open my life to more slow time to meditate and be still.
Maybe, just maybe, I can conquer this feeling my embracing it and not hiding from it.