Relaxation

"Just go inside and relax," he said.

"Just lay on the couch and read your book and take it easy," he said.

By the time he came inside, I had washed the dishes, put in a load of laundry, sorted the week's worth of laundry that was all over the laundry room, picked up the clothes and book bags and boots from the floor, and started meal planning for next week.

What is it about relaxation that we just.can't.do? If I told my hubby to go inside and relax, he would be snoring on the couch within 12 seconds of me saying the word.

So why can't mamas get it done? We can do EVERYTHING ELSE, but we can't find a way to relax. And when I DO try to relax, I end up being anxious and having heart palpitations thinking about all of the OTHER things I could be doing. One page into my novel and my mind is already reeling, thinking about the dishes in the sink, the clothes that have to be folded, the comforter that has to be put into the duvet cover, and the vacuuming that needs to get done.

And let's not even talk about the waves of guilt that wash over me if I sit on the couch and my husband is up doing all the things. If he's doing dishes, I feel like I SHOULD be doing something, too!

Add to that the fact that as mamas we are so disconnected from the world in which we live today. Sure, I would love to go visit my friends on Sunday, but then how would the laundry get folded? How would dinners for the week get prepped? Who would give my kids baths? I am forever compiling to-do lists in my brain, and if I don't act on them then I forget quicker than the thought comes to me.

Come to think of it, I don't remember a time when relaxation WAS a weekly occurrence. For as long as I can remember, I've been running to and fro with a list in my hand, busily checking off tasks and feeling accomplished as I added more to the list.

Around and around we go, never with an end in sight. So what can we do about this? 

I've tried meditation (aka making my mind a blank canvas for new thoughts about what I should be doing), yoga (aka stretching while thinking about all of the other things I should be doing), reading (aka letting my eyes roll back and forth across a page while thinking about what I should be doing, and then having to go back and re-read a page 5 times before I actually understand the words), hiking (aka looking at trees and thinking about the yard work I should be doing), taking naps (laying there for 15 minutes before getting pissed off and getting up to go do the things I should be doing)...you get the point.

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The thing is, I know all of the ways that there are to help me relax. And I know that I need to be kinder and more gentle with myself as I continue to evolve. I guess I just have to come to a point where I can start to unwind a little bit and make a conscious and unnatural attempt at relaxing. Because it IS important. And I know that I SHOULD be doing it. The irony...

I guess I'll just have to fake it until I make it. Breathe in. Breathe out. Count to 10 and all that jazz.