It's summertime, and I'm still working, but only one job. This is my time to write. I'm also doing 2 hours of Jazzercise, 6 mornings a week, to try to minimize the damage done to my fitness during the school year when I can only squeeze in 3 hour-long classes a week. And I'm working through my list of besties, having lunch with some, dinner with others; I'm even going out-of-state for a few days to visit a dear friend who moved onto a lakefront place when her husband retired. They just got a pontoon boat, so I'm looking forward to working on my tan as we putt-putt around on her small lake.
But wait! Last week's Sunday paper had a couple of articles that stressed the importance of Mindful Living, and Wasting Time. In short, the first concept was used to prescribe meditation for everyone, as a way to connect with your inner self, and learn to de-stress your life. This made me laugh, since I do like to do yoga, to stay flexible, but I usually do it in between my Jazzercise classes, when my body is all warmed up and more pliant. But meditation? Just sitting still and listening to your own breathing?
My husband has been doing Tai Chi for many years. He's a part of a group that meets weekly, with an instructor to encourage them to improve their form and align their Chi. He used to tell me that I should go with him, to help me relax. He told me that I need to find the quiet place in my mind, and go there when I'm stressed. I told him that in that place in my mind, there's a plate-spinner. Remember them, from the Bozo show? (Chicago-land reference to kids' show that featured circus acts.) The guy would have a bunch of poles lined up, and he'd get a plate spinning on one, then move to the next, then the next. By the time he got the last plate spinning on the last pole, the first one was wobbling, so he'd have to run back to re-spin that one, then the next one, and so on. In other words, there is no quiet place in my mind! Not very encouraging for either Tai Chi or meditation.
The second article was about a prolific writer who is also an astrophysics professor at MIT, and a TED talker. He says that we all need to have downtime: time that we can waste doing nothing. He says we need this for our minds to rest, to rejuvenate, and so that we can reconnect with our own sense of self. Now if this seems like an oxymoron to you, a multi-published professor telling us we need to waste time, I thought so also. And with bills to pay that don't go away just because we ask them to, I'm hard-pressed to be able to justify wasting time that could be used to work.
|View from campsite in MN.|
|View from campsite near Grand Marais.|
|What a relaxing view, right?|
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