“We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Last week I took a little vacation back home to Wisconsin. It was Summerfest and Fourth of July and generally a party the whole time. Except for when I was doing nothing. And I kept thinking that I needed to be doing SOMETHING. Why do I feel this way when I am on vacation?
Here’s the scene:
We got to Wisconsin late on Wednesday night. Thursday we spent the whole day at Summerfest. Friday we went to lunch and shopped, then went to see a band at the local park. Saturday rolls around, and I am lying on the couch watching Iron Man 3 feeling GUILTY. I should be doing something, going somewhere. It’s too nice out to sit inside. Blah, blah, blah. I actually had to talk myself into NOT feeling guilty for laying on the couch watching a movie on my vacation. I was literally having a conversation in my head back and forth, telling myself it was OK to just chill. I eventually relaxed and watched the movie, went to eat Mexican and then back to the park to watch another band and the fireworks on the Fourth. So what’s the deal?
I think part of my problem is I am a planner—all day every day. I like to know in advance what my schedule will look like, when I have to be somewhere, etc. I don’t know how to turn it off. I RARELY sit around and JUST watch a movie. I am usually doing other things around the house, tending to the dog, making a grocery list, thinking of all the things I NEED to do. Strangely, my husband doesn’t have this issue. He can easily veg on the couch and watch TV for hours. Of course he doesn’t need to plan because I probably have it covered.
While my husband enjoys sitting on the couch, I had to wonder on vacation if he was bored. This was VACATION after all, I should be entertaining him! We need to go somewhere, do more, I should have planned more. He worked on some puzzles, probably dozed off, and sometimes watched the movie. Not much different from home, and he is fine there. When I asked if he was bored, he said no, it was good to relax. He knew we had more planned for the day. Why can’t I be that way?
I have another vacation planned (of course) in August. I am going to plan to have some time for relaxation. Maybe between the State Fair, day trips, and my family reunion I will schedule some down time. But what if it just happened? I just relaxed and didn’t think twice about it? Took Thich Nhat Hanh’s words to heart and used that time for healing? That sounds really good-I will plan on doing that.