If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.
— Inflight passenger announcement
This weekend I have done absolutely nothing noteworthy. I didn’t go out, I didn’t meet friends, I saw no interesting movies, read no fascinating books, and engaged in no intriguing discussions. With the exception of about one hour of telework that I needed to complete on Saturday, I indulged in guilty pleasures both on Netflix and through my reading material choices; I tried to eat healthy (didn’t always succeed); and made it to the gym each day (a small victory that I’ll take). But other than that, this weekend has been a total reset for me, both physically and mentally, and it continues to this very moment, right now on a Sunday night.
As these January days get colder and my bones older, I realize that sometimes the most therapeutic approach to life is to simply be—make no plans and simply live in the moment. I realize this is a luxury—I don’t have a family to care for, nor do I have to work a weekend job. I am free to use selected weekends to go about my life and do what I want to do when I want to do things, even if that means doing nothing at all. (And let me just say, thank God for Peapod grocery delivery service—I did not have to leave my home once this weekend except to walk across my condo community to the gym. And with the snow that fell upon us on Saturday and the freezing weather that gripped us today, it was a good weekend to stay indoors and recharge.)
The result of this total unplugging? I feel completely relaxed and ready for an early Monday morning (I have an 8:30AM meeting with our nuclear security experts, which means I need to be at the office by 8:00AM to prep the meeting materials). But strangely enough, at 8:50 PM on a Sunday night, I am nothing but chill about this unusual Monday morning work demand. Little dread, low stress levels, and complete calm about the fact that tomorrow is the start of another hectic work week.
If you are able to spend a full weekend “simply being,” I highly recommend treating yourself to such an experience every once in a while. While I am not one to frown upon luxury spa appointments, there is something to be said about being able to stay home and completely unwind without having to spend a single dime. Our daily lives are consumed by adhering to schedules, making plans, committing ourselves to people and appointments, and giving so much of ourselves to the point that we often forget about nurturing our own needs.
Some might call this notion of living moment by moment “wasting time,” but it’s not wasting time if the results are recharged batteries and a peaceful state of mind. To me, it’s completely worth it, for if we aren’t at peace within, we can’t possibly tackle with grace the challenges hurled upon us on a daily basis. My rule of thumb: Start taking care of yourself first for only then can you adequately take care of others and the demands you face each day. You are worth it, and at the end of the day, the world needs only your best, so why not take the steps to ensure the best is what they get?