Learning to Relax

March 23, 2015

My final day of work was on a Friday, and I had been so ate up with anxiety during my last two weeks, that I still had trouble sleeping over the weekend once I was officially done working.  I expected an immediate sense of relief – a release of pressure like air coming from a valve stem – but I didn’t really feel somewhat relaxed until Monday morning.  I woke up early (my body clock still on my old schedule), then realized that I didn’t have to go to work.  This was an amazing feeling that I couldn’t remember experiencing before.  Even during vacations, I used to wake up early with that voice in my head saying “there are only (pick a number) days left before this trip ends, so you better get up and make the most of it…actually, you should probably check your work email first.”  Sound familiar?

Excited and well-rested, I jumped out of bed and made coffee, took out the trash and recycling, and got my daughter fed and dressed for preschool (she won’t start staying home with me until April).  By 7:30 my wife and daughter were out the door.  My son happened to be on spring break this week, and I knew he would sleep for another few hours.  The morning was all mine!

I started some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen (which we had left messy the night before because I know have time to do these things later!), went for a jog, cleaned one of the bathrooms (a priority, as my preceding anxiety had caused some severe issues on the pot…), went grocery shopping, picked up teeball gear for my daughter, did some more laundry, took about a hundred loads of crap to my neighbors’ house (we are sharing a dumpster as part of a spring purging project), did some dinner prep, played basketball with my son, hosed down the garage floor, and folded laundry (however, not the way my wife likes it folded).  Am I bragging?  Maybe a little, but mostly I’m just pleased with what I got accomplished.  It’s important to me to be productive, although I’m not going to beat myself up if some days don’t go this well.

I then took and shower, and realized I was exhausted.  It was late afternoon, but I had a little time before dinner needed to be started, so I decided to lie down and rest for a few minutes.  Then something truly amazing happened – I fell asleep. This is significant because I don’t nap.  In the last 19 years, I can recall taking two naps.  Once after a camping trip when my tent flooded, and once while in the hospital after having surgery to remove my thyroid (that nap had to be drug-induced).  I may be forgetting a few, but naps are a rarity.  My brain doesn’t turn off long enough.  This was the highlight of my day, and was proof to me that I am I the right path.

There’s a Chinese proverb that states:  Tension is who we think we should be, but relaxation is who we really are.  Maybe the Chinese are on to something here?  I will continue to test the theory.  You should too.


3 Responses to “Learning to Relax”

  1. facetfully Says:

    Great start to a new journey! Now, if you can just bottle up some of that energy!

  2. That’s great! Sounds like you really needed a day like this. We all need time to recharge once and awhile. 🙂

  3. Debi Says:

    Wow, luck was with you your first day as “house dad”. No kid home sick and puking, no flat tire, no broken washing machine, no emergency trip to the vet. LOL – keep up the good work!

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