One of my favorite things to do is nothing.
Let me explain.
I remember Saturdays when I was growing up where I'd have certain jobs (or chores, whatever you call them), and I'd take my time doing them. My mom would turn on the radio and sing along to the "oldies" playing which were popular during the time she was in middle school and high school. Sometimes I can still hear her hum and sing along, her slippered feet shuffling along the carpet...that was a large part of my childhood. I remember one particular Saturday, I sat in my bedroom, silent on my bed. I thought and thought and thought about places or things or ideas to which my mind wandered. Then I'd retrace my thought process to remember how I got there, back and forth, like a toy train on the track of my mind. Sometimes I thought those days of growing up would never end. (I was really wrong.)
I remember specifically the afternoon light in my room that day, how it was soft and bright, perfect for pondering. I loved that room. It was perfect for naps, thinking, bedtime, having my dog sleep at the foot of my bed instead of sleeping in the laundry room. That day, I remember listening to my mom's slippered feet gathering static as she hummed, cleaning and putting things away. My room was probably messy, and I was probably avoiding cleaning it. But I remember giving myself time to work my thoughts out, and how it felt important to me, even if it wasn't in reality.
Sometimes I still ponder like this; I remember living with roommates, I came home one day and opened up my bedroom window and felt the mid-March chill. I lied in bed on my polka-dotted sheets and thought about my life until I fell asleep. A few weeks ago, I was cleaning our spare room and momentarily took a break. I was on my back on the floor, listening to music and thought about anything and everything, sorting my life's laundry in my brain's compartments.
Today, it snowed. All day. At first, I was disappointed because I was wearing flats, a jacket, a tshirt and jeans. I especially hated it after brushing my car off and my feet were damp and cold. But tonight, I noticed the trees hanging low with the weight of snow. And how the sky was that peculiar grey it becomes on snowy nights. I noticed it resting on chain-link fences, and I thought to myself, I don't hate this weather. I don't know of many more romantic things than the way the world looks at night while it's snowing.
It seems that lately, I have a bad attitude about certain things in my life. I try to change, but it's extremely difficult. And you know what else? My back hurts a lot. But that's nothing new, just an old annoyance. I find myself irritated at the same old things, and yet I know that the only thing I know for certain I can change is myself.
And the truth is, each and every single night, I go to bed, grateful for what I have. I'm grateful to know what I know, to have a couple of best friends with whom I live. I'm even grateful for the girl scout cookies in the cupboard about which my husband forgot.
I know I write about the same junk all the time. But more than anything else, I need these reminders for myself that life is good. It's not always easy, simple, or glamorous, but it's real, and good.
I am a worrier by nature. So I'll leave you with a question: how do you get your mind to relax? I don't always have the time or energy to let my mind wander anymore. Maybe I should take up meditating. Any tips?