Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taking it Easy

About two weeks ago, I was picking up the girls from Vacation Bible School in New Albany. I had to take them to a noon dentist appointment.

I saw a guy roller-blading down the sidewalk, on a Monday. Who knows if he had a job, had the day off, was unemployed, was on vacation. But as he slid down the decline preparing to cross the street that I was driving on, he just busted a 1970s disco roller skate move, twirling in place in a kind of joyful fluidity that grabbed my attention.

Here I was, in mid-day, transitioning from the grind of office work, getting my kids to get their teeth cleaned, then I'd drop them back at daycare and return to the cubicle for a few more hours of profitable anonymity. Average, banal, ordinary.

And here was RollerBladeDude, busting his move, unconcerned and enjoying himself.

I tried to carry that image with me, reminding myself to take it easy, to breath more slowly, to focus on the moment, rather than dwelling on what's been done before and what still remains to be done ahead.

I've often had this problem, thinking outside of myself too much. Worrying about anything, everything. It was a problem when I was a young boy in school. Maybe because I had older siblings I could watch them ahead of me and project myself forward to when I faced those challenges. More than anything, I was just an anxious, worrying kid that was afraid of doing something wrong, of creating disappointment. This anxiety was enough of an issue that my parents signed me up for a summer session of weekly talks with a psychologist.

These talks were very informal affairs, just him and me sitting in his office talking about the week gone by. I don't really even remember him specifically asking me what caused my anxiety or focusing on the things that make me get upset. We just talked, though I'm sure those things came up and he got my impressions on things. Maybe talking through my week, pulling it out of my perspective, having someone else objectify my experiences allowed me to gain perspective of my own. Maybe I just grew up a bit, but in the end, we met weekly for the summer months and then it was over.

I do feel that I loosened up some after that. I didn't project my worries out into the future quite as much. I still worried then and still do today, but I took it all better in stride. Nowadays, I've got LOTS more to worry about than school projects or living up to the previous examples of my siblings. I guess it's proof that things are better if I can do all the things I now do without being overwhelmed.

I guess I just kept on growing and learning that you worry about the stuff you can control and do your best when you can. But, if you're just out and about on a weekday, living your life and doing your thing, don't pass up the opportunity to twirl on your roller blades and have a little bit of fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yup, something I am trying to do in retirement is to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. I am not always successful, but just trying to pull my mind back from racing on to the next thing is helpful to me. I like the image of the roller-blading dude.