Today I completed a lengthy and laborious three-day move, while simultaneously cat-sitting for my parents. After a week of burning energy in an effort to distract and occupy my mind, I have finally hit a wall. My normally anxious antics came to an abrupt stop around 1:30pm today and I collapsed, unable to go on. A caffeine infusion from some tea failed to revive my lagging spirits.
This caused me to reflect on the nature of my youthful life, and how busy I typically keep myself. To what end are we all striving for with our rushing about, our fussing, our devoted attention to material goods? First, people are rushing everywhere, all the time. Everyone knows it, too – we just don’t take any steps to prevent it. Given a suddenly blank schedule, I will rush to fill it with cleaning, maintenance chores, and other time-wasters. I may even start looking into new programs, courses, or events to fill my time. But why can’t I stop and just be in those moments?
Second, people are always fussing. I come from a family of world-class fussers. My family and I worry over locks, paperwork, belly lint, and odd things that matter little in the long run. My constant tension generates quite a few different physical reactions – mostly tense leg muscles that developed into plantar fasciitis and tense arm muscles that are an on-going source of wrist aggravation. I would suggest to everyone that they become aware of their tension and take steps to avoid it (and if they find the quick-and-dirty secret to doing so, please let me know!). I find that communicating with people (i.e. socializing), listening to music, and taking a technology-less walk in nature (i.e. sans cell phone) has the greatest power in drawing me out of a downward spiral of fussing.
Lastly, people are very devoted to material goods. My move has highlighted the importance of certain material objects; tools which assist in the convenience and function of our everyday lives. I would highlight eating, personal hygiene, and sleeping as some of the key factors driving material consumption. Outside of this, I’m tempted to pitch the rest of my stuff out the window (or more accurately, into the car and a then a thrift shop). It just weighs down my mobility and crowds out my free physical space.
So as I wind down this day and search for a method of relaxing, I have to restrain myself from saying ‘yes’ to new responsibilities* or even (worse yet) searching out further methods for burning up my energy and my time.
* My email inbox literally just flooded with requests for dog/house sitting (something I’ve done on the side for years) and gardening work. Is there a way to make a living here, rather than just a quick buck? The answer, I think, is ‘no’ – at least until I can develop some specialized skills and abilities to offer at a higher price.