My sisters and I often joke about the tribal belief system under which we were raised. We start each day with a schedule and run around as if we had little propellers under our feet until we complete our Agenda. We even refer to our Agenda with a capital letter “A”, as if to give it more importance and reverence. Any interruption or obstacle in our Agenda causes mild consternation and a flurry of reorganization to make sure that every item on our list will be successfully completed. Although we laugh and tease each other about our Agenda, it’s even funnier how we take turns admonishing each other to take some time for ourselves and slow down! So far none of us are taking the bait.
Last Saturday was a beautiful fall day. I kept looking out of the window as I composed my Agenda and started revving up my propellers. But, something wasn’t working. Maybe my propellers needed a tune up. Maybe I needed a tune up. I knew I needed something. In a completely uncharacteristic act of spontaneity, I threw my Agenda in the recycling bin, looked at my husband and said, “I need a change of scene. Let’s get out of here.”
After I did look over my shoulder to make sure the Agenda wasn’t trying to crawl it’s way out of the recycling bin and back into my hand, we got in the car and drove. We ended up in a small mountain town which is a popular tourist attraction. However, on this beautiful fall day the town was almost deserted. We walked along the street, marveled at the warm, bright sunshine and soaked in the casual, rustic atmosphere of this small town on a lazy afternoon.
Those few quiet hours were more restful and restorative than I ever could have imagined. I also learned a lot on that lazy afternoon. I learned that some of lifes’ simplest pleasures can be the most gratifying. I realized that it’s okay to let go of our belief system to allow for new experiences to come forth. I discovered that if we cling to our Agenda it will have power over us and keep us from enjoying a fulfilling life. I also discovered that even propellers need a day off every now and again.
Here’s hoping you give yourself permission to let go of your belief system, release your Agenda, turn off your propellers, and take the time for yourself to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP