Exhaling

I feel like for the last few years, I’ve been holding my breath. What was I waiting for to exhale? A new job. A successful writing career. Some stability in my life.

Seven or eight years down the road, I found myself really turning blue. It was time for me to exhale, no matter what was happening.

I realized that if I waited for these things to happen before exhaling, I would pass out.

No, I never did get that better job. No, I’ve not yet become a “successful” writer (for the subject of this blog, “success” means well-known and selling a substantial amount of books). And, no, my life is still a bit of a roller coaster ride.

But it’s time to exhale.exhale

I’ve been working very hard to reach my goals. I’ve bent over backwards, jumped through hoops of fire, and pulled rabbits out of my ass. Hell, I’ve been a regular circus act. And all to the neglect of rest and relaxation. That has to change.

Little by little, very slowly, I’m learning how to relax. It’s been challenging, because my instinct is to work, work, work, and do, do, do. But I’m taking it one step at a time. Last Sunday, I took a little nap on my couch. This may not seem like much, but I’ve never napped. I always felt that I needed to pack in as much as I could during my waking hours because before I knew it, the day would be over. But I napped. And you know what? It felt good. And I still managed to get stuff done. And you know what else I did? Oh, my god, I watched a movie. I just got wild. It took me a few hours because I kept pausing it to go do stuff, but I watched it.inhaleexhalerepeat1

So, now I’m exhaling. Maybe I’ll accomplish my goals, and maybe I won’t. But it’s uncomfortable to hold it in indefinitely.

Maybe I’ll even watch the last season of American Horror Story. After all, it’s only been a year.acfdbf7e6216e6d4c28b55505a2ed467

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2 thoughts on “Exhaling

  1. Yay! The nap. Yes, I know what you mean. My identity was always about what I could get accomplished in a day. Never thought about taking care of my self. (separation of the word there on purpose.) When ever I would sit down, that voice in my head would say, “…but…you could be doing this or this.” Last winter was the first time I sat on my couch and read books for hours! Yes, that old specter, ‘guilt’ raised it’s ugly head for awhile, but I told it to shut up. I had earned this by working 24/7 the summer before, by golly. I still have troubles relaxing, even to the point of friends teasing me by asking how many minutes have I sat in the outside hammock in any given week. (I’m up to 4 times this summer,(total) at a maximum duration of 20 minutes, but hey, it’s progress.)
    Recently, I’ve listened to a dialogue about why we work so hard. Isn’t it to be able to relax, enjoy the present moment and all the good things around us? It always seems to be a distant goal; one that has to be achieved only by hard work and sacrifice. Now, though, I’m beginning to see, for me, that it is more a matter of appreciating what is right in front of my face. Wasn’t it my goal to work hard so I could have time to read later? But, then it dawned on me, that I could have that reading time now. I did not have to ‘earn’ it by hard work. I just had to give myself permission to enjoy that activity NOW.
    I’m reminded of that story about the businessman who upon seeing a fisherman sitting on a dock, staring out at the glistening ocean on a perfect day, says to him. “Why aren’t you out there bringing in a catch? Then you’d have enough money to buy more boats, and bring in more fish, and make loads of money.” “Why would I want to do that?”, asked the fisherman. “So someday you could retire and relax,” said the businessman.
    “But that is what I am doing now.” Replied the fisherman.

    This story cracked me up when I first heard it. And it hit home that the pursuit of future goals of happiness, that ‘delayed gratification’ this former Catholic girl was raised with, may not be the best way to approach life. The here and now…and the joy that can be found here… is good to experience, too.

    Hope you enjoy another movie soon. Live on the wild side! 🙂

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