Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday leisure.

Post 395 - Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1969, and grew up on a small family Christmas tree farm. She’s best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. What she wrote about taking time off strikes me as particularly relevant at this time of year when we talk so much about joy and celebration.

"We are the strivingest people who have ever lived. We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted. We move at full velocity, yet constantly fear we are not doing enough. Though we live longer than any humans before us, our lives feel shorter, restless, breathless…

Dear ones, ease up. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn off your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow. In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you can’t calm the hell down.

So, go take a walk. Or don’t. Consider actually exhaling. Find a body of water and float. Hit a tennis ball against a wall. Tell your colleagues that you’re meditating (people take meditation seriously, so you’ll be absolved from guilt) and then actually, secretly nap.

My radical suggestion? Cease participation, if only for one day this year – if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease."

I'm taking the rest of the week off and spending quality time with my family, sharpening up my appreciation of present giving, turkey and football, among other things. I'll be back on the 28th. In the meantime, I wish you all a very, very happy and relaxing Christmas.

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