Somewhere along the way, it appears I forgot how to relax.
Well, maybe I didn’t exactly forget, but I definitely no longer know how to do it spontaneously. Now I have “relax” mentally filed under “What To Do On Vacation,” “What To Do on Saturday Night Between 8-10 Unless I’m Working,” and “What To Do When I’m Freaking Out.”
I am exhausted today. Emotionally, mentally and physically wiped out, for a variety of reasons, none of which are important to what I’m writing here. But after working late for several nights running, and pounding through three tight deadlines this morning, I found myself staring down the barrel of some unscheduled time this afternoon, before I have to head out and work again later. I kid you not, I panicked a little. What do you mean I don’t have anything to do right now? Gah!
I have written several essays, some of which are now immortalized in my book, about how to step back, how to recreate without apology, how to breathe, how to be. Just be. But when I fall off my soapbox and into a big dirty puddle of doing, I forget how to just be. This afternoon, my body told my brain to kindly shut up already. And my legs carried me to the sofa, where I laid down. My eyes closed themselves, my brain finally gave in, and I took a nap like I haven’t taken since I was four.
When I woke up, I made a cup of tea and pulled out my secret stash of emergency chocolate, went back to the couch, and spent another hour eating chocolate and finishing the book of Wendy Wasserstein plays I bought a few weeks back. I don’t know what got into me (besides Toblerone). I don’t do stuff like that. I don’t just not work. It’s working hours, for crying out loud! I have a script on my desk that is due in a week and it’s nowhere near done. What am I doing, napping and reading and eating chocolate?
And yet… and yet… I feel a little like I’ve just had a mini vacation. There’s a sneaky smile on my face as I realize that I’ve been doing exactly what I needed to be doing. No guilt, no remorse, no calculating the time I wasted. Sanity officially saved. It’s just too bad the chocolate’s all gone.