I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I do resolve to make changes, but whenever I see it necessary. This fall I determined to do two things. Drink more, and be late more often. Yep. A strange couple of actions to work on, but hear me out.
First, let me be clear, for those people who really shouldn’t drink for a variety of reasons please stick to abstinence! I used to drink regularly, as many college-age kids do. Then, due to several circumstances, I quit and have barely drank anything, for a couple of decades. That’s fine, but I realize that I enjoy letting my hair down and deviating from my normal routine (which typically involves waking early and exercise). But when does the focus on health interfere with the enjoyment of life? For me, that’s now. I recognize that daily workouts might be a little overkill. My body needs a break and my brain needs rest. Relaxation. And perhaps some more laughter over a fun dinner with friends. My point here is moderation–finding the balance, as is so often the case in life. I’ve felt it necessary to be responsible…always in control. PS, we’re never truly in control except for our own reactions to what is happening around us. I’m not advocating lots of drinking, and being an overall junk-show. Just loosening up now and then.
Regarding the “late thing”. I grew up with a mom who chronically ran behind. My memories of dance lessons, piano–well basically anywhere we had to be at a certain time, went hand in hand with a tense, high-speed drive to get there. Side-note, it’s during these drives I first learned to swear, as she’d be cursing red lights and traffic along the way. These experiences created a need, in my adult life, to be chronically on time, and I’m almost always 10 minutes early. Anything to avoid that rushed, uncomfortable feeling. However, for years now, I’ve lived in places, and around friends who take a much more relaxed approach to timeliness. Or to be blunt, I can count on them to be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours behind schedule. It’s something I’ve internally battled for years. I rush around tying to fit in a whole bunch of stuff, or in many cases forgo doing things so that I can be somewhere “on time”, only to wait or arrive and be alone, or the first person there. I’m not complaining or judging. What I am doing is changing my habits and not raising my blood pressure, to adhere to a norm that doesn’t really exist in my world.
This doesn’t mean I will take commitments lightly, or show up for work or a client “whenever”. These two changes have one key factor in common: Lighten up Sue Fox! I’m not an ER doctor or some high-finance whatever, where lots of money, or even human life is at stake. I’m racing around, stressing myself out for no one but myself. Well “Myself” is drawing the line! I will (strive to) be present. Not be ten steps ahead in my head. I will slow down, and be with the person I’m with. Have the conversation. My need to be on to the next thing can leave great conversations cut short…or worse, leave the person I’m rushing away from feeling undervalued.
Everyone walks their own path, and half the battle is figuring out “what shoes to wear”, metaphorically speaking, along the way. I’m choosing something in between house slippers and bedazzled party-heels. For now.
Thanks for listening…see ya out there, on the frisky ripples.
Case in point, “whipped cream tequila shot” game post paddle, on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Great time, and resulted in big, messy whipped-cream kiss with my sweetie”. Why miss that?