Monday, January 29, 2007

STOP or I'll...

How would you complete this threat?

"Stop or I'll shoot" is a common one. But I'm non-violent.

Anyway, why this entry? Because last week, from the moment I got up on Monday morning it was go, go, go with barely a pause. I was even thinking in my sleep of how the pages looked and which ones I still needed to clear. I dreamt that we hadn't actually closed March and woke up in a cold sweat before dawn.

Thursday night, I was so filled with remorse about having taken Friday off that I could barely allow myself to leave work, and that after having worked almost straight through lunch. When I finally left, my weary head thought it would at least get a half-hour's rest before my appointment to see a movie with friends. Then, when I arrived home, I realised (with the descending, discordant organ notes from a bad '60s horror movie) that I'd left not only my employee ID tag but also my wallet containing IC, driver's licence and cash in my drawer at work. So I took off in a run back to the office (which, thank God, is near home), hardly able to keep my eyes open. By the time I got home, I had just enough time to shower and eat before I left again. *And* I had to top up my tank so that I could safely reach PD later that night. Oh yes, PD. I was planning to watch the movie, then go home to grab my stuff, and drive for two hours to the nearest place I can go to feel totally at home, yet not have 101 things begging for me to attend to them.

I reached home with my wallet (and a whole bunch of other things I'd also left behind without realising) and saw that I had even less time than I'd thought. So I did what any sane person would do. Let me rephrase that. I did what anybody wanting to stay sane would do.

I stopped.

Kicked off my shoes, put down my bags from work, kept my dinner, and sat on the sofa with my eyes closed for five miutes.

It didn't matter who I had to meet in 25 minutes' time, whether my stomach was rumbling, or that my cat was pacing peevishly around me with her "I'm hungry" face. I needed to stop doing stuff for a moment.

Five minutes later (because I was, after all, on a schedule) I got up and went on with whatever I had to do. I didn't feel as rested as if I'd got my half-hour nap, but my mind was refreshed and definitely, peace was restored within.

I think too many of us have forgotten how to be still and experience life for what it is. Not that work or relationships ought to be neglected while we sit down over a steaming cup of tea, but we are meant to lead balanced lives and that's something that I and many people I know are still struggling to achieve.

My five minutes of silence may have pushed back my schedule and made me late for my appointment, but as I work towards cutting down on the things I need and want to do, it looks like something I have to keep forcing myself to take.

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