I started this post today with this simple writing prompt: “What do I know to be true right now?”
1. Truth: My house won’t be any cleaner just because I’m on vacation. Oh dear reader, I had such plans to be better, do better–stronger, faster, cleaner. And yet, only a few days in, I’ve decided to let that go. There is nothing magic or special about vacation. There’s still work that needs done and still not enough time to do everything I have planned–and that’s going to have to be okay.
2. Truth: The days aren’t magically longer because I’m on vacation. Another expectation I had about this vacation that I am letting go early on is that somehow the days would stretch out before me like forever. That I would lose track of time in a sense of endless bliss, feeling like years had passed between sunrise and sunset, like the way summer vacation felt when I was a kid. Now don’t get me wrong, I hope to have a few days like that, maybe even a few weeks, but I’m okay if the entire almost three months doesn’t feel that way every minute.
3. Truth: I need to learn to rest and play. At the workshop with Brene’ Brown this weekend, reviewing the guideposts for wholehearted living, the things to cultivate and the things to let go that she writes about in The Gifts of Imperfection, I felt pretty good about most of them. I am clearly still working on “cultivating self-compassion and letting go of perfectionism” and “cultivating calm and stillness and letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle,” but I am making such good progress.
The one place that I need to do some real work is with “cultivating rest and play and letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol.” I’ve mentioned before how now that I’m finally moving, it’s so hard for me to stop–I feel like I’ve already wasted so much time. But, Brene’ reminded us this weekend that if we rush the work, the work won’t be as good as it could be, and that this is a life we are living, we don’t want to rush our way to the end, and we want to enjoy it and contribute something of value so we need to cultivate the things that keep us strong, to “respect our body’s need for renewal.”
One Wish: That we can all soften and lean in to joy, whether we are on vacation or not, wherever we find it. And that we remember we can stop, sleep, rest, even quit if we need to, that there is wisdom in being gentle and kind with ourselves, brilliance in slowing down.