The Great Self-Pampering Conundrum
Have you ever had a day off where you decide to be lazy beyond reckless abandon? You set out to accomplish absolutely nothing, just like that song “Today I don’t feel like doing anything“? I bet there are several of you out there now, feeling wistful about the last (probably long, long ago) day that you spent all day in your PJs, woke up and went back to sleep 5 times, ordered food in or ate all the junk food in your cupboards, watched marathons of a TV show you had never even heard of 8 hours earlier when you first tuned in. Ahhh. How great…
I often find myself stressing about all the hours I pour into work, how much housework needs to be done, how the cat/dog/other dog is just as starving as me after a 12 hour day, but because they yap and yap they always manage to get fed before me (such manipulative fluff balls…), and I just plead with the world for a day of lazy. Of doing everything in bed. Extra sleep, eating in bed, watching TV from bed…maybe I could also walk the dogs from bed?
The weird thing about all of this is, however, that I make time for these days on occasion. At least once every two months. And I’ve made a startling discovery. I wallow around among sheets & pillows & junk food, and all of the sudden, the sun is gone. I’m sort of hungry in a spot that junk food hasn’t hit after 3 bags of chips. My hair is greasy. And then this inching dread feeling creeps in…because tomorrow the ominous stresses return. And the day of high life is already over! And the dishes are still in the sink, the fur balls are still tumbleweeding around the wood floors, I still haven’t showered…and all of this seems to negate the peaceful day of rest I was fully embarked upon.
I have actually found, much to my dismay, that days relished by speed-scrubbing down the house, a nice, well-cooked hot lunch, and easy afternoon of reading or taking the dogs to hike at the state park seem to provide much more satisfaction then the coveted Day of Rest. I accomplished something. And more that, I accomplished something more than what I do at work.
I think that this discovery is the link to one of the reasons I have loved Agriculture. I get so much more self-worth out of doing things. And the physical labor often associated with agricultural jobs is plain evidence of things done. For example…Today I moved 300 cattle, sorted them by weight, began them on new feed, ear-tagged, fixed 3 fences, walked 8 miles, and fixed a tractor. That is a satisfying day. Something to be proud of. You come home physically exhausted, mentally worn, but you feel you have honestly worked for your place on this earth.
On the other hand, my current job has that indoor environment. I spend days going to Chamber Meetings. Seminars. I spend hours speaking with people to coordinate with on event planning. It’s not that I don’t accomplish anything, I actually accomplish quite a bit. I mean, I reduced my emails today from 577 to 498 today, for heavens sake! But I go home mentally tired and physically a little larger from having sat in a chair or car all day. Mental exhaustion sometimes turns instead into a racing mind. Tossing and turning. Forgetfullness. Physical exhaustion, on the other hand, improves focus, builds body structure and function, and at a certain point, forces you to slow down long enough to charge your batteries. And there are plenty of problem-solving opportunities for your mind to engage in as well. And whether for work or leisure, I find the physically & mentally challenging days to be far more relaxing than the mind-numbing days spent staring at a computer monitor or zombied to the TV.
I guess it kind of makes sense. I mean, in all of the Kourtney & Kloe marathons I’ve watched on lazy days, I never once have seen an episode where I have watched either Kardasian stay in bed or even turn on a TV. I certainly don’t watch them facebook stalk. Because obviously that is BORING. So I wonder why I think putting myself through those activities would be instead rejuvenating? I want to watch them Take Miami! Conquer, explore! Why? Well, because silly, that gives them something to talk about. Regardless of whether its enough to deserve a TV series, it does give them much more adventure and award them many more bragging rights than anything I accomplish on lazy days. Even on days off with cattle, I’d still have to get out of bed early to feed & check fences. And by the time I get back, I usually don’t really want to go back to sleep. It’s only 10am and you have all day to enjoy! I’m already out of bed, breakfast fed, and dressed, so I may as well get to the good stuff now!
Does anyone else find this conflict: desiring a day of lazy and in reality needing a day of doing (even though the day of doing must require the “doing” to be different from your “daily doing” schedule)? How do you spend your days away from the job?