I must admit. As I awakened on my first morning without having to report to work on a weekend, a certain wave of elation trickled over my skin. I love each and every student in my classroom and have felt compelled since the beginning of the year to offer the optional Saturday Tutorials – that special block of four hours where we pour as much as we can into their tiny bodies with big hearts; but, last week was the year’s end. Suddenly, there was no alarm clock set. No little faces awaiting my arrival. There was just, my warm and cozy bed. My favorite blanket. The ebb and flow of early morning noises and…the incessant racing of my thoughts.
That million-item task list found its wily way into my head before the sixth hour of the morning and I was powerless against its mental assault. I begin to think of everything I had to do. Everything I hadn’t done. What I could do within the next 13 minutes, what was clearly going to take longer. Who I needed to talk to. What meetings I needed to set. What had to be done by Monday, could wait till Tuesday, what might get done if I got up at 3:30a.m. tomorrow, what should be done before the weekend’s end, and then I began – the dreaded texting.
It was only after my fourth very-important-I-have-to-do-this-right-now message that my husband rolled over in the dark and said, “What…are you doing…?” To which I replied with an almost innocent, “Hmmm???” I replied, “Oh…just sending a quick message.” I was then greeted with a deep and troubled sigh that translated to, “Carla, must you start working so feverishly at 6 a.m. in the morning when you actually don’t have to be anywhere but here…” I’d like to say that after my non-verbal cue that I had an epiphany, but I didn’t. I finished my texting. Laid back in my bed, eyes glued to the ceiling and continued to be rattled by everything I wanted to do, but was pretty sure I wouldn’t get done, followed by toiling with how I could get the most bang for my buck.
Sound stressful? It is… (Sigh) one of the things that I’m working on getting better at. I’m still under construction, folks. This is when I’m reminded of how good my husband is for me. I went from deeply contemplating my best solutions to feeling flustered by all of my misfires. Anguish spilled over my face as I began to fret about what was completely and disappointingly impossible. Then two gentle, but firm arms embraced my own. A warm voice whispered in my ear. A compelling consoler coaxed me and said, “Why don’t you just do nothing?” That felt so hard! I’m a thinker. A doer. An idea-r (o.k., that one sounded weird, but you get the point.)
I struggle so much with relaxing because in a warped part of my brain, it equates quite literally with being unproductive. I forget that relaxing is a healthy thing that really promotes holistic wellness and keeps me from going crazy. With tremendous effort and a patient husband, I finally did though. I silenced the thoughts, by replacing them with far more palatable ones from my imagination. I closed my eyes and saw sandy beaches. Tranquil waters. Soothing falls. A plush bungalow. Island accents. Delectable dinners. And I had some other encouragement…
Lessons Learned: Our To-Do-Lists will never be fully complete. For every task that we cross off, many others will surface. Yes, aim to get done what is most important; but, be not weary of those that aren’t finished in 24 hours. Pace yourself. Protect yourself. Shield yourself from the madness that can consume you by being the one who wants to save the world in a day. More importantly, treasure the moments of peace and pleasure that fall into your lap or you’ll find them slipping through your fingers. Remember, love the ones who love you the most. Be in the moment. Today I was the student. I love my teacher. #happyrelaxing, #takeabreak, #beinthemoment, #catchthatdream, #itswonderfultobeinlove
Picture: A photograph I stole from my friend’s FaceBook page (Forgive me!). After he uploaded it, I was so jealous! But today, it did me good. Thanks, Kenyatta ;o)