March 23, 2009

Rediscovering Leisure

Yesterday was another gorgeous day and I feel great for having taken full advantage of the first couple Spring days we've had. On Saturday after I found that cutting up old clothes can be a huge mood booster, I made the most of my motivation and went for an hour-and-a-half bike ride, my first since I packed the bike away for the winter. I rode all through the trails by my house, up to the park and the man-made (but still beautiful) lake there. It was a wonderful first day of Spring.

Yesterday I taught my guitar lessons, did some spinning on the deck, and then met up with my brother for dinner. We had about an hour left of daylight after we ate so we took my guitar and a drum and hung out in a field near my house.

It occurred to me as we were playing songs and enjoying the sunshine that I still felt anxious. I had this nagging feeling that I should be doing something. Like in order to really be making the most of the day and the moment I should either be doing something productive or at least entertaining. I realized that since I've become an adult and been increasingly able to buy different things and experiences I've become increasingly unable to just relax and be.

I used to do it all the time. I would spend hours just sitting outside listening to music, or reading, or writing, or just daydreaming. Now, if I think of doing something outside, it's always something that requires planning ahead and organizing some kind of activity, usually something I pay for. So, I've decided to work on getting back to basics. To allow myself true leisure time, without having to have something to show for it afterward. To focus on the quality of the story of my life instead of just the plot.

I have noticed lately that whenever I am asked to spend time with someone, I immediately run through all the other things I could accomplish with that time. I feel like I have to justify every moment I spend. I can foresee this kind of thinking getting out of hand very quickly, and I know it's already hurt some of the people I love when I am always making excuses why I can't see them. I think in our society "work" always trumps leisure or recreational time, and I really don't want that to be the way I live my life. So, I'm making a conscious decision to reassert my right to leisure and to welcome spontaneity back into my life. After all, if I hadn't agreed to sit with my brother in a field yesterday I would have missed out on this:

Which, as it turned out, was the perfect end to an awesome day.

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Garden Gate Designs said...

Loved this post on your blog. You should always "take time to smell the roses". I have been taking my own advice lately and just enjoying the simple pleasure of reading a book in the Spring sunshine. Life is short, make the most of it.

Rosemary, Garden Gate Designs

Lin said...

I think that you are a bit younger than me but I have been doing the same things, going out but thinking what I could be getting on with at home/work.
Your posts are always on my wavelength, its spooky!!
(I wish you could come and teach my husband the guitar, he tries but is driving me crazy!)