Imagine a night when the family is fed, the house is clean, the children aren't bickering, and you have the rest of the night to relax. You draw a hot bath, you even use your "good" bath salts. You enter the bliss, let the water envelope you, you slowly begin to feel the world's weight come off your shoulders. Ahhhhhh...
Then a teeny tiny thought crosses your mind: 'I've been in the bath long enough that I could pumice my feet. It's summer, I want my feet to be summer ready.'
And then another thought enters your head: 'I should put on one of those beauty masks. My skin has been terrible lately...'
And then another: 'Gee, I should get ahead and starting outlining for that upcoming project.'
And then before you know it, the weight of the world is back on your shoulders, Atlas. Well done.
How many of us do this? How many of us finally eek out some "me" time only to have it sabotaged by "me?"
There's this feeling, this need, that compels us to productivity. Every moment of our lives must be towards something. Some end goal. Ironically we just keep moving the damn goal the closer we get to it.
We see it on our social media. We all have that friend who is a mother to 4, a partner at her firm, and a great cook especially with her-urban-chicken-coop-producing-eggs, who also volunteers at the local food bank. We see it in our communities. When was the last time you saw a bunch of kids riding their bikes to the woods/creek/river/lake/beach/playground to play freely or just hanging out at the 7-11/ice house/arcade/mall/plaza on a regular basis?
That fateful night in the bath? I missed a real opportunity to appreciate all of the things I did do! I worked a full day at the office. I fed my family. I picked up around the house. There were no dishes in the sink. The family had on clean clothes. All the pets were alive. And the house did not burn down.
Somewhere along the way, we stopped giving ourselves permission to relax, to slow down and enjoy our day. Starting from today, I'm giving myself permission. Instead of focusing on what I think I should be doing, I'm going to appreciate more what I have done. And that not every second of my day has to be productive.