Skipping the Gym & Lightening Up

by Elisabeth

Phyllis says: Lighten up, Fool!

Phyllis says: Lighten up, Fool!

I slept in today because I planned to. Even after I woke up naturally, I coaxed myself into shutting my eyes again. When I sleep in, I milk it for as long as possible. I finally woke up around 11am. Nick had already gone to work. I watched the latest episode of Nashville. Guilty pleasure. Nick would definitely not approve. He wouldn’t approve of the show itself, and he wouldn’t approve of watching shows in the middle of the day.

The sun hit the snow in the backyard, making it fluorescent white. For some reason it made me want to stay in. All the barren plants were waving in the wind. I’ve been so tired of winter. I was supposed to go to the gym today. I even changed into my gym clothes. Then I watched the latest episode of Girls. I further procrastinated by peeking under the table cloth where Phyllis likes to hide-out on one of the kitchen chairs. I petted her and she grabbed my hand with her two paws. Phyllis was my idol today. It was then that decided to skip the gym. Not because I don’t have the energy- I could totally do it. It was because I’ve felt like I’ve been on a treadmill for the last couple of weeks. I needed space from obligations. I needed today.

I’m doing my best not to feel guilty. If you are going to play hooky, you may as well enjoy it. But the guilt is hanging out like loitering teens at 7-11.

I want to do more, watch less. Today, I was unable to make myself do anything. But maybe my addiction to planning and productivity is getting the best of me. Sunday is supposed to be the “day of rest,” after all. In my book club we talked about what we needed to do to get closer to our core desired feelings- I recognized that I need to lighten up.

I don’t want to look back on my life and see a list of completed tasks, a string of television shows, or a sea of anxiety. The impending move, and all the tasks associated with it have thrown me off kilter. A day of rest is definitely in order as I start this journey of deconstructing my life. People move across the country all the time and handle it with aplomb. Why am I so anxious? Why am I constantly trying to hide from the magnitude that I have psychologically built up around everything? I miss my dumb youth, when I wasn’t as scared to make mistakes. Now I’m plagued with an overall belief that I need to get things right.

Right after I write this, Nick calls to tell me that the people who were going to take the apartment have decided not to. They got a better offer. I’m mad at myself because I didn’t have the forms ready for our open-house. If they were signed, these people wouldn’t be able to change their minds. I’m anxious again. I feel immoveable.

But in the spirit of lightening up, I’m not going to panic. I can talk myself out of this quagmire. Nick and I will figure this out, and find someone to take our place. I will make it to the gym all the times I planned to this week. I will eat healthily and get plenty of rest. I will find ways to trust life, and to laugh, and roll with the punches. Moving across the country cannot be an excuse for stressing out. And really, nothing all that bad has happened here. I took a luxury day and some people changed their mind. Some people would even call me lucky.

How you spend your days is how you spend your life.- Annie Dillard