For most of my adult life I worked twelve to sixteen hours a day. Some of it was my job. The rest was upkeep on my home and yard, child care, and personal care. Even when I was supposed to be having fun I was mentally worrying about whether I was doing it right and trying harder and harder to do it right.
I never stopped to think about why I was doing it. I just grew up believing that constant effort and productivity were what "good" people do. You know, "Idle hands are the devil's work" and stuff like that. Just sitting around, or wandering around or whatever were the marks of a person with no ethics.
Well, I have absolutely nothing to show for all that effort. I think almost all if that time and energy spent were a waste except for the effort I put in to being a parent. The rest - blaah.
Now I'm only willing to put a certain amount of effort into keeping myself as healthy and socially acceptable as I can without overdoing it. I like a clean and beautiful environment so I'm willing to put some effort into that. But I've made it my business to find ways to simplify all of that into a meditative practice that wastes no movement or time.
I've watched a bunch of Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Meals" and she wastes not a moment or a movement. I've studied how to do home care in the same fashion. I'm still working on getting personal care into a tiny amount of time, but I'll figure it out. I'm not very attached to how I look so it's easier for me than it might be if I was trying to look fabulous - socially acceptable is all my goal consists of. I don't want people to be disturbed by my appearance!
By eliminating as much as I can of the unnecessary, I've got time to meditate, pray, read, walk, exercise and write. I also spend time with friends and family - a lot of time, really. I also listen to music. When I can I teach classes on journaling, recovery, basic finance, and "Zen" housekeeping because I believe it's my responsibility to pass on what I've learned.
Last year I got sick and in order to recover I trimmed back on movies and a lot of other entertainment stuff. I haven't seen a movie in over a year, I haven't been to a concert in over a year. I don't miss the movies but I do miss the concerts. I still visit art galleries and museums and go for walks in gardens. I've lost interest in traveling also. That's about it for my life. And it's a beautiful, peaceful life that delights me.
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