In last week’s post, I told you my friend’s secret to getting rid of the undeserved guilt we tend to feel when we don’t accomplish each day everything we think we should. Today we’ll take a look at the other half of that equation — how to destress and enjoy the day — or at least part of it!
Sometimes you need to just step back. Disengage from the hustle and the hassle and look around you and see how to destress.
It’s a rare warm, sunny day here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, especially rare because it’s March. Never mind the fact that as I write this it is, after all, the second day of spring. Around these parts, we usually don’t get much, if any, spring.
We locals have a couple of fond sayings: one is that we pretty much have only two seasons – summer and winter. The second quip is that summer begins on July fifth.
Although once in a great while we’ll get a warm, sunny Fourth, I kid you not, the norm for the grand old Fourth of July is cool and cloudy, with an extremely high chance of rain.
Then, more often than not, after the wet, chilly misery of the Fourth is behind us, we awaken on July fifth to warm sunshine, birds singing, everything is beautiful…you get the picture.
And what really gets our monkey up and screeching is the fact that this happens no matter what type of spring we’ve had.
We may have had the typical windy, wet, cold spring and those new to the area eagerly look forward to that most magical of days, June 21 (my birthday, by the way. It’s okay. You don’t have to get me anything.), which is the first day of summer.
Because summer is…well, summer, for crying out loud. You know – kids out of school, vacays, backyard barbecues, swimming, water fights, running through the sprinkler, or sipping ice-cold drinks while watching the kids run through the sprinkler.
So the noobs think, okay, gray, wet fall and winter that chilled us to the bone…gray, wet spring that wasn’t much warmer…but not to worry, summer’s right around the corner! Yay!
Then summer rolls around and lament begins: What the hell is WRONG with this place? Is it EVER sunny here? For the love of all that is holy, doesn’t this idiot place know it’s SUMMER?
If by some miracle we’ve had a warm, sunny late spring (forget about it ever being warm and sunny in early spring – except for this miraculous year), new residents might be fooled. That is, fooled into thinking that the unseasonable weather, which is perfectly seasonable for wherever they’ve come from, will continue to roll merrily along and heating up as the sun continues to shine.
Only to find that they were sadly mistaken, and there usually is no such thing as the end of a warm, mostly dry spring morphing into a warm/hot, dry summer on June 21 or thereabouts. Or July 4, for that matter.
Oh no. If for some reason an unusually lovely spring has visited us, we must pay.
You Call it What?
We call it Juneuary.
Oh yeah. We got it last year. June roared in like a lion, windy, cold, wet, and miserable. Gloves and heavy coats were donned, fires kindled in wood stoves and fireplaces.
For those (like us, always) who had unfortunately used up their supply of firewood during the winter, Lowes and Home Depot were on the list as we forlornly wandered the aisles, scouting for packages of Presto Logs.
Alas, there were none to be found, as the cold weather had created a run on them, and the stores were not about to order any more. It was, after all, June they pointed out. For crying out loud.
The early, early, early, early forecasts are calling for a hotter than normal summer for us this year.
Yeah, right. Maybe after the Fourth of July.
But today? Ah, today is warm and lovely – in fact, miracle of miracles, the last three days have been. And have I gotten out to enjoy them? No, unless you count going to the optometrist and then the grocery store yesterday getting out and enjoying it.
Because I’ve been working like a dog. Or a plow horse. Whatever you prefer. I have my blog and my freelance writing career. My church’s worship team wants me to join them although, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why, because at the moment my fiddle-playing sucks.
So this means time spent practicing at home every day (confession: try as I might, I’m never able to actually practice seven days in a row. Perhaps this is why I suck.), and with the rest of the band on Friday nights.
Don’t worry though, I still haven’t joined them at an actual church service. There might be no congregation left after that.
Anyhoo, then there’s always piles of laundry, a perpetually dirty house, dishes in the sink, meals to cook, grass that is sprouting up, and a garden that needs to be planted. And shopping and other fun errands, plus appointments, bills to pay, and the list goes on. And on.
And that’s not even counting precious time with family and friends!
It’s called Life.
As you well know, because you live it, too. Not the same as me, but you all have plenty to keep you running to and fro — as I said last week — like your hair’s on fire. And after a while, it all just gets to be too much.
You can’t take it anymore. You feel like you just need a danged break, already!
And you do.
How to Destress
(Or at least, how I’m going to!)
Sometimes, how to destress isn’t the biggest problem. It’s actually doing it.
It’s 3:30 PM. I’ve been at the computer since 8:30, which may not seem like a full day’s work until you take in the fact that I took no breaks. I eat my breakfast and lunch while working. My eyes and head hurt, and it’s time to go practice the fiddle.
But today, I’m going to step outside for a little while first. Maybe play Frisbee with our dog, Ellie. Maybe take my cat, Louie for a walk drag. Just kidding, I won’t drag the little guy. I’ll just let him wander as far as the leash goes and let him sniff whatever he finds. And when my husband comes home, maybe we’ll go for a walk.
Life is short, and tomorrow is never guaranteed. So, go ahead – give it a try. Take a step back and disengage from the frantic must-do’s. Do something fun, something relaxing. I dare you.
You’ll be all the healthier and happier for it.