How a Woman Relaxes

My husband is forever telling me to relax.  He’ll say, “Why don’t you sit down and relax?” or “You just need to relax.”  He has the uncanny ability to actually relax.  He can compartmentalize things and when his body is telling him to chill out, he can do just that.  I cannot.

While my body may be comfortably parked on the couch, odds are I am still not relaxing.  Always the list-maker and worrier, my mind runs at warp speed often leaving me more mentally than physically exhausted.

This is my mind while relaxing:

Ahhh, finally sitting down.  Oh man, that toy wasn’t put away (get up and put the toy away).  I should read.  I don’t think I’m alert enough to read.  I wish I could read more.  I should make time to read more.  I don’t feel like it tonight, though.

relax

There are so many finger prints on that window.  Is that a lip imprint? How did they get up so high? The boys aren’t even that tall (grab the cleaner and remove the finger prints).  Why are there so many crumbs under the table?  I swept it after dinner and we haven’t eaten anything since then.  Where did they come from?  It would not surprise me if we have a family of rodents in this house.   They would be the fattest, most well-fed rodents in all the land.  I better clean up these crumbs.

Should I scrub the toilet again?  Nah, I need to relax, I’m going back to the couch.  That movie looks so sad!  I can’t imagine if that would happen to me. What if Jeff gets into a car accident on the way home?  What if Jeff and the boys are in a terrible accident some day while I’m at work?  What if they all die and I’m left alone?  What would I do!?  Oh my word, I need some tissues.  Why can’t I stop crying!?  I need to get a grip and snap out of it.

Wait, did I email them back?  I need to remember to email her first thing in the morning or that project is going to be held up.  Did I add that figure to the spreadsheet?  Ok, I know where my notes are for that meeting.  I hope I can just sit there so I don’t have to present.  But maybe I should offer to present – maybe that would look good.  Yeah, I’ll do that.

What should I make for dinner tomorrow night?  Something easy, that’s a given.  I think I’ll bake this weekend and try to make some soup to freeze.  I hope the boys nap well, then I can get some extra stuff done, too.   You know what I really want to do?  Take a bath.  I want a nice hot bath.  I can relax, maybe read, maybe shave my legs!  That would be refreshing.

Where is Jeff at?  Why isn’t he home yet?  Oh my word, what if he got into that car accident?  OK, ok…deep breaths.  Everything is fine.

Maybe I’ll just check Facebook.  Why didn’t she like that post?  I thought for sure she would like it, maybe even comment on it.  I must be slipping.  Why do I care?  Why does it matter how many thumbs up I get?  I should delete Facebook, it’s the devil.   I know I’ll never do that, but if I have to see one more picture of the weird food he makes, I’m going to lose it.  Who is she dating now?  Yikes!  Awww, they had their baby today! I think I want to have another baby.  I think I’m ready for that.  We would have to get a minivan and the boys would have to share a room.  We could do that, right?  The boys keep asking for a baby, but Jeff isn’t ready.  Should I talk to him about it?  Maybe we should just wait a few months.  I’ll keep praying about it.

I don’t think I exercised enough today.  I’m going to do some more sit-ups.  Why (exhale) does (inhale) my (exhale) gut (inhale) refuse (exhale) to (inhale) shrink (exhale)?  If we have a third kid it’s certainly not going to shrink.  Should I do Weight Watchers again?  I don’t want to pay for that, though.  I know enough about nutrition to do it myself.  I need to get my addiction to carbs under control.

What’s today’s date?  Ok, good – that bill isn’t due for a few more days.  I’ll submit that payment online tomorrow.  Did we get the statement for that doctor’s appointment?  I’ll have to remind Jeff to look for that in the mail so I know when it comes.  I think we’ve reached our deductible; we should not have to pay anything else.

When’s the last time I talked to her?  I should text her and see how she’s doing.  I miss her so much!  I need to schedule time to meet up with her.  Maybe we can meet for coffee and go shopping.  I’ll have to check Jeff’s schedule.  Maybe I can ask Mom to watch the boys for a bit so I can get out of the house and so I can hang out with her.  But I feel bad for asking for favors.  This is why I can’t delete Facebook, it’s how I stay in touch with everyone I’ve ever met.

What time is it?  What – I’ve only been relaxing for five minutes!?  I’m totally exhausted, most likely due to the fact that I spent half of my ‘me’ time crying.  Oh good, Jeff just pulled in so he wasn’t in a car accident.  I’ll stay up with him for a little bit and then I’m going to bed.

The only thing I know for sure is that I am nuts.  Somewhere along the line, I have just lost the ability to calm down and allow my mind to rest.  All my relaxing produced was the following list of items for me to complete:

  • Read more
  • Check for fat rodent family
  • Scrub toilet
  • Don’t watch sad movie
  • Email about work project
  • Volunteer to present at meeting
  • Set dinner menu
  • Bake stuff
  • Take a bath
  • Shave legs
  • Delete Facebook
  • Have a baby
  • Get a minivan
  • Shrink gut
  • Break carb addiction
  • Pay electric bill
  • Watch for doctor’s bill
  • Call friend

Some of you are laughing because you have realized how crazy I truly am.  Others are laughing because you can completely relate to this ridiculousness.  Most of this stuff is not that important.  Sure, I should pay the bills, make dinner and scrub the toilets.  My husband would probably appreciate it if I shaved my legs; although, that might take us dangerously close to having a baby and getting a minivan.

Regardless, the stuff that keeps me from relaxing just isn’t as important as I make it out to be.  It’s all just busyness that takes my eye off of the things that really are important.  I can add ‘relax’ to that list.  Not the kind of relaxing I did on this evening, but true relaxation that rejuvenates the mind, body, and soul.  I’m reminding myself that it’s okay, even healthy, to make relaxation a priority.

Linking up with Equipping Godly Women

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13 thoughts on “How a Woman Relaxes

  1. This was a really cute post! It made me laugh…perhaps I am laughing because I can “completely relate to the ridiculousness AND because you sound somewhat crazy” 🙂 but fun! Your list was highly entertaining. Sure glad I have found your blog. I have been blogging since July 1. Phew.
    Keep writing!

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  2. Oh my goodness, Jess, I was laughing the whole way through because I can totally relate! I know I need downtime, but it’s so hard to stop all. the. thoughts. Just love your blog!

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    • Haha honestly it’s the inability to mentally relax that really gets to me. And I know the things I think about are completely ridiculous, but the thoughts just don’t stop.

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  3. Woah. I’m bad at relaxing, but that’s pretty bad! I think one thing that helps me a lot is diving my time into certain blocks and scheduling EVERYTHING in. When every task has it’s own time block, you don’t have to worry about it during other time blocks because you KNOW it WILL get done and when it will get done, just not right now.

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    • That’s exactly what I have started to do – schedule time to relax. It sounds ridiculous to a lot of people but it’s just what I have to do. Today I took a nap and it was GLORIOUS!!! Haha

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  4. What a hoot! I have finally learned the art of relaxing by saying no and setting priorities, but my life is also in a different place now. Kids are grown, no grandkids, non stressful job…the problem is that my relaxing has turned me into a sloth. So my relaxing time thinking goes like this: I should exercise/cook/write/stop playing this stupid time-wasting game/call ___ /set up some coffee/dinner dates…etc. I think that it’s very hard for women to shut off our minds and our “should” button.

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    • Agreed! I have a ‘should’ button that is constantly going off. The more life experiences I have, the easier it has become for me to set priorities and learn to say no. But it’s still a work-in-progress!

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  5. Pingback: 5 Things I Learned in February - Introverted Mama

  6. Hi there Jess, I saw you at Tarissa’s place, and she was right. This post is hilarious. You’re describing me to a T. I’m turning off my computer now, so I can go “relax.”

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