You ever have one of those days where you just never seem to get in gear? One of those days that sifts like sand through your fingers, in spite of how desperately you try to hold onto it?
Today was one of those days, although I didn’t realize it until just now, as I was trying to describe it to a friend. It’s not that it was a bad day. Nothing bad happened. In fact, I did a lot of fun stuff.
I think it seemed like an off day because I wasn’t sitting at my desk, pounding on the keyboard. I wasn’t fretting over that sticky emotional issue that has been bedeviling me for months. I wasn’t plowing through my eternal (or is it infernal?) to-do list. Instead, I was out in the world, having a grand time. Granted, I wasn’t making any money (which will come back to bite me next month when my paycheck arrives), but I did a lot of fun things instead.
I talked to three dear friends who called from around the country to check on me (well, one called to convince me that 14″ of snow falling overnight is a GOOD thing – hi Chris!). I tanned and hot tubbed with my girlfriend at a fancy beach resort, since it was 77 degrees and sunny today (they’re calling for 58 tomorrow – guess it’s fitting, since it’s the first day of winter – or the end of the world). We shopped the main street of St. Augustine’s Old City, and I discovered great little stores I had never seen before. We drank a beer and listened to live music. When I got home, the family that I live with (my apartment is attached to their home) invited me to drive around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. We got home just as a crazy rainstorm started, and we gathered around the fire out back, listening to Christmas carols while the rain pelted on the tin roof. Then I watched the first half of a movie with another friend, until the late hour and the long day took its toll, and I headed home.
Anyway, where was I? Got lost in reminiscing for a moment. Oh yes, fragmented day. So you see, I had fun. What I didn’t do all day was work. I didn’t run errands. Didn’t mark off chores on my to-do list. Didn’t pack for my impending trip north. Didn’t answer email, work on my book, wrap presents, send my Christmas letter, or do any of the other countless tasks that I set for myself today, and every day.
Now that I try to describe it, it seems silly that the only reason I felt discombobulated was because instead of working, I played.
(Pausing for a moment to let that sink in.)
Apparently I still need to work on that balance thing because when I take a day to myself, I feel off-kilter. I would have felt a lot more comfortable had I accomplished more. But, in the end, I was a good friend today. I was a good listener. I smelled wood smoke and walked in the rain. I saw Christmas lights, spent time with friends, and worked on my tan. Hopefully I left the world a little better place than it was this time last night; I’ll probably never know.
I guess I need to listen to folks like Chris, who seems to have a handle on this whole balance thing. I can’t remember his exact words, but we agreed that if we woke up on the right side of the dirt, we didn’t have a lot to complain about. That tomorrow, we should wake with smiles on our faces and be thankful for what we have, instead of what we don’t. We should choose to be happy.
It sounds pretty simple when explained that way, huh?
So now that I understand why I felt so ill-at-ease today, hopefully tomorrow I can do something about it. Although I have to admit, I’m already trying to figure out how I’m going to accomplish everything I have to before I pour wine at 5:00pm.
I didn’t mean for this to turn into a psychoanalytical session, but it appears that I have, once again, started with a mundane subject and ended up thinking way the heck too much. Although it does have a happy ending; I’ll go to bed appreciating the fun day I had, rather than fretting about what I didn’t do.
Tomorrow’s another day (heck, it’s 12:30, it’s already tomorrow). I’ll get done what I can, and will forgive myself for what I didn’t do. I’ll be spending time with a good friend, pouring wine at my friends’ wine store, and listening to my favorite band play and sing. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there work, pack, wrap…
If you have a handle on the whole balancing work and play thing, care to share your secrets? Otherwise I’m gonna spend my life feeling out of whack – or, at least, disappointed in myself for not living up to my own uber-high standards.
I hope your tomorrow is filled with a happy blend of work and play…