Downtime

Are you a workaholic? I am a recovering one. Some days, I’m able to enjoy the sweetness of life and other days I feel compelled to disregard everything but forward progress. On those days I am a human doing, not a human being.

Luckily, my body sends very strong signals when I fall into this old, uncomfortable habit. I stop deep breathing and I feel anxious. I lose patience with others and I cannot stand to be in idle conversations. This is me at my worst, I think – a version of me without the ability to play, create or just wonder.

In meditation, we recognize that the most important thing isn’t the bliss state. Instead, it’s the moment (or moments) when we catch ourselves in “monkey mind” and gently return to the breath without judgement. This is what happened to me 30 minutes ago. I caught myself bring a human doing and said, “Enough!”

I realized that I’ve been in “monkey mind” since I woke up around 7am. I suffered most of the day trying to reach for something unattainable – perfection. This is also called “attachment” and I’m so glad to now be through with that part of my day. Thank God for small miracles.

Accordingly, “downtime” is the plan for the rest of today. Some call it chillaxin’ or R&R. It’s all the same – just floating on the current of the day into evening and then into bed. Aaaaaah

The Adventure has been a time to slow down, to investigate the contours of life unfamiliar to me as a workaholic New Yorker. I’m very grateful to the conditions that led me to leave that lifestyle mostly in the past.

The ability to relax is like a new muscle or a new neural pathway. (I’m not an expert in anatomy or brain science, so forgive me if I’ve got this wrong!) It’s a kind of semi-retirement where I may choose to spend an entire day or week just farting around.

I like it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *