I wasn’t always into gardening, or painting, or cooking. I was too busy making money, juggling things, and multi-tasking. I felt an adrenaline rush knowing how good I was at keeping it all together.
Or so I thought. I got into a car accident and everything seemed to stop. It was the first time I wasn’t able to “do” anything. I had to slow down, and it felt weird. The conditioning that tells us that we have to keep getting better, to be on top, to be the best, to “do” is something is almost impossible to avoid. It’s stupid, really.
During my recuperation, I started to paint, to garden, to make recipes that I thought were difficult, but were not. It turns out that I have a lot of energy, and it was so hard to not do much, and to rest and sleep many hours in the day.
Each day seemed to be a miraculous event. My senses that had got jolted from the impact of that other car made my awareness of simple things heightened.
Worrying about money stopped. Worrying about being fat stopped. Worrying stopped, actually.
I put lots of colors on white paper. I sent the ones that I liked to my friend, who liked them too. (Tosh, I will always be grateful to you because without you liking those paintings, I would not have continued).
Things grew in my first garden back then without me doing anything except making the soil nice, and bending over and putting the seeds in the earth according to which day Maria Thun said I should.
Now twenty years later, I feel as busy as I did right before the accident. My experience is that there is a link between sickness and stress levels, and accidents are not accidental.
I am on high alert right now, paying attention to my thoughts, and taking time for moments where I am not “doing” anything.
I am not keeping up with the news. I am not trying to look younger, to have sex as often as I did when I had eggs in my basket, so to speak, nor am I buying every new toy in the world of technology in the belief that I need to get it to be able to be “more connected”. Frankly, I am over being “connected”.
I am not trying to fit more things in my day that will make me better.
There are things that I am doing that I feel help me to cope these days:
1. I am getting a massage regularly from my favorite person, Mimansa (Thank You Mimansa!).
2. I am going out into my garden to see what is blooming, because I planted the flowers that I love over the last 12 years and if I don’t get out to walk around because I’m too tired every day, I miss the fragrance and the joy I get from seeing them.
3. I am taking more time with my partner to do things – little things. Like listening to an old Van Morrison album and kind of spacing out on the living room floor. Or driving to get a beer somewhere in the evening. I don’t want to miss out on the time that I have with him because I was “too busy”. Nope, it’s time to set some boundaries and limits and to enjoy what I have.
I am constantly trying to find the balance between being able to handle the stress of work with having a life too.
It’s interesting how HuffPost now has a new section called “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power”. It’s all about being successful, and then, it becomes too much, and then, one has to find the balance – it is such a common quest and problem for many of us!
And on this last day of Spring 2013, I will end this week’s post with the question, “What are you “doing” these days to relax and find the balance?”