Relax: re-lax |riˈlaks| verb, 1) make or become less tense or anxious • rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious.
I actually had to look the word up because I don’t know how to relax anymore. Tired and anxious I have down pat, but relax? Forgetaboutit. I’m actually wondering if it’s even possible “in today’s day and age” [dun dun dun!] to relax.
Everyone has endless lists running amok in their brains, right? Like when you are trying to fall asleep, and the dreaded List Spigot releases a waterfall of never ending to do’s into your subconsciousness. How, when you’re driving in the car, you suddenly get from point A to point B on autopilot because you were trying to figure out how to get a birthday present, fill out school paperwork, finish a presentation for work, and determine what’s for dinner – all in a day you’ve already totally overbooked.
Case in point: I love nature. Love, love, love, love, love nature. Growing up, I remember sitting on the front hill of my yard and smelling the sap coursing through the veins of the trees. Feeling the freshly mowed grass clipped to a precise height file through my fingers. Even watching the clouds as they whispered the secrets of angels to one another in the sky.
Now, if I try to sit on a hill and take in the surroundings, my once peaceful brain rattles off replies to emails, new shoes for the children to be bought, and, oh yeah, a note to self to check the level in the oil tank.
Have I lost the ability to silence myself or have my senses been dulled with age and responsibilities? Or has technology and “stuff” replaced my beloved nature? Are my computer, iPhone, house, and car really that needy? Because nature isn’t needy. I am the one that needs her to stay whole and well-grounded. But how do I get back to her? To clarity?
Since I can’t seem to smell the roses anymore, I need to seriously weed my garden. Like a beautiful, unspoiled field in the country, its quiet magic is fed by its simplicity. It can breathe. If I built a house, and then a town, and then a city on that field, it would eventually become so complicated that I wouldn’t be able to see the soil that was once its foundation. I would have suffocated it.
I think that’s what I’ve done: Built a beautiful life and then overcomplicated it. I need this to do that. Wouldn’t it be great if we had x to make y easier. Boy oh boy, wouldn’t the kids love to have ______. Quite frankly, I can’t smell the roses because I’ve buried them under ten tons of manure.
So it’s time to start digging. Time to silence my head and reintroduce myself to my heart. It’s time to feel the sting of a few thorns to get to the beauty of the rose; those being my family and my well-being. And as the trowel breaks through the unnecessary layers, I bet it will smell great.