Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Point of it All

"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless." - Bill Watterson

It's the weekend, and this weekend, just like every other weekend, my whole family naively hopes for two days of rest. It just ain't gonna happen this weekend, or next, or.... Unfortunately I can see our scheduled events a few weeks out and there isn't much down time coming our way for a month or so.

This makes my son very cranky (truth be told it makes my husband and me cranky too). Children, if allowed, still have the ability to play, relax and not feel like they have to accomplish something, or fulfill all expectations. Sadly though, most families, like mine, have a laundry list of things that have to be done, errands that need to be run, events where they have to show, and don't forget the lawns they need to mow! Cutting grass really gripes my, my... you know what.

Calvin & Hobbes quotes

“We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that
we don't take time to enjoy where we are.”
- Calvin and Hobbes quote

I don't know about you, but the busier life gets, the less time I have to keep things in order at home and prepare for the week ahead. I sometimes, okay all the time, feel I'm barely lifting my head in time to see the next hurdle I have to jump, and even though I know there's a string of them up ahead, I can't look too far ahead or I'll stumble - just gotta clear the one in front of me first, then I'll look to the next one. I gotta be honest, my hurdling form is absolute crap, and in my fatigue and rush to tackle each one, some get knocked down, dragged for a bit, and generally roughed up. No one said it had to be pretty.

Busy, busy, busy - yep everyone is these days and there really isn't any feasible way to fit it "all" in - somethings got to give. Usually, the recoup, relax and recover aspect of a weekend is the part that gives way because we don't get to that until everything has been crossed off the list.

Anyone out there every crossed everything off their list? Anyone? Didn't think so. Me either.

I'm not a religious person by definition, but there is something to be said for a day of rest. Keeping one day at least, a day to slow it all down and just kick back and hang out. Commune with your higher power if that's your thing, or just sit with your family, or dog, or yourself!

A year or so ago, my family was dedicated to breaking bread, lighting candles and celebrating Shabbat every week. My son really looked forward to this quiet time to wind down with the family and it really set the mood for the weekend. We didn't always take a whole 24 hours to recoup, but we certainly took some time to slow down, and the strangest thing happened. We still seemed to get just as much of the really necessary stuff done as we did before.

Why? Because when we slowed down for a bit and gave ourselves a break, we recharged the battery and were more focused, efficient, and way more fun to be around - a bonus! We were able to look at all those hurdles and instead of just a knee-jerk reaction to get over them, we did an end-run around some that didn't matter to us. Knowing the difference between what's important to you, and being able to say no to things that aren't, takes a little bit of clarity. Clarity is easier to come by when you take time to inhale and exhale completely.

As we near the end of the school year, my son is looking forward to a summer BREAK - an honest to goodness break. I've been perusing the parks catalog for all kinds of activities and camps for him to participate in, but he is not interested. Nope - he wants to do something that I remember doing when I was his age. Play! Can you imagine? He just wants to play, run around, read, hang out and have time to do something really and truly important for a young mind - experience boredom. I think that's a worthy goal for a 10 year old.

Proper training for any new endeavor is important, so perhaps we should try it for a weekend first? You know, like a warm up.

1 comment:

lisa said...

I'm reading this post on a Sunday morning, before I head off to Taoist Tai Chi instructor training, to the grocery store and home to work for the rest of the afternoon. Weekend? What's that?! I so appreciated your comment that "...the strangest thing happened. We still seemed to get just as much of the really necessary stuff done as we did before." You've inspired me to come home this afternoon and rest, do what I want to, not what I have to. The rest will all be there for me tomorrow. Thanks!