Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Freedom to relax

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are." Chinese Proverb

Staying still - relaxing - has always been hard for me. I need to keep busy - to keep moving. Sometimes though, I totally exhaust myself. I just seem to have all this energy and need to move all the time.

My kids wanted me to take them to the beach yesterday. I did. I'm not a beach person and I find lounging around difficult. After forty-five minutes of being there I asked if they were ready to go. NO! they both shouted. I fought within myself to stay, to veg - to hang in there for them. I looked around at the other families. Everyone seemed relaxed, calm, enjoying themselves. Another half hour went by. The tension was building. I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to go.

As we headed for the car, I felt like the worst parent in the world. Not that my kids whined or complained, but I knew they really wanted to stay. Maybe if I was different - it would be better for them. I drove home angry at myself, wishing for their sake, I wasn't who I was.

When we got home, I jumped on my bike and took off pedaling as if my life depended on it. I needed to get out all the pent up energy. When I returned home and opened the garage door to put my bike in, my kids ran outside, threw their arms around me and told me they loved me.

Sometimes I focus too much on what I can't do or wishing I was different than I am. I forget about the things I can do. Like today I took my kids to the one place where I can let myself relax - in the woods - in the hills - in nature. That's where I feel alive - free - energized.
In the woods, in the mountains, I feel connected - to my body, my mind and to God.

Today the three of us hiked and ran up the mountains. We laughed and sang and shouted. I danced around them encouraging them to keep climbing. Later on the drive home, my oldest told me I love the extreme stuff and she loves doing it with me. My youngest said she had a ton of fun. I thought of the beach. Maybe it's ok to be who I am. My daughters words echoed in my head long after they had said them.


Patricia Singleton said...

It is definitely ok to be who you are. Who else can you be? You are doing something right to have two beautiful children love you.

I have trouble sitting and doing nothing so I take a book along to read or a notebook to write my thoughts in just about every place that I go. You won't find me sitting doing nothing.

Denise said...

Sweetie, just be you. You are awesome, and your children love you because you are you.

Gaia said...

That's how I feel sometimes, that I seem to always disappoint my son. Guess mothers have a tendency to go on guilt trips. We should not be too hard on ourselves yah??

Epiphany said...

"Sometimes I focus too much on what I can't do or wishing I was different than I am. I forget about the things I can do."

Hmm, me too.

Dean Corso said...

I like the way you write, I read every post here, and I see that words has revealed their secret in a most subtle way.
For some reason when I go out, it's like I'm going to war, I become like a robot and of course that's what people see from the outside, inside I wish I'd live in a different society. And I know why I'm like this, childhood...all goes back to what happened before. But after years now, I've let go yet, am cautious of outside world.
Thanks for sharing,

Kay said...

I love how you finish this, accepting who you are and not sacrificing your own comforts even when the depths of your heart want to please another....

you know, with clarity, that being with you is remarkable, even if it is not what all the others are doing right now :)

Just beautiful! What lucky children.

Madison said...

I'm with you on the sitting around doing nothing at home or sitting around on hot sand doing nothing. I think your other choices sound like a lot more family fun. Probably being who you are is better than who you think you should be. That's why your blog is so nice to read.

speck of dust said...

It's really wonderful how your children helped you work through your negative thoughts with their unconditional love. I feel terribly guilty every time I leave my boy and go off cycling or to meditation class. He's getting to an age now where he's stopped screaming every time I leave him so that helps. This weekend we're off to my favourite place: the woods too :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend x

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Can we switch places? Because I'd give everything to live near a beach. Of course, that would be my downfall. I'd never write anything and would probably die of skin cancer within five years.

This was a great post! Thanks for the reminder that we need to be who we are.

Have a great weekend!

Andrea said...

Beautiful post from a beautiful heart. GOD created you uniquely and that is what makes you the special person you are and your kids realize it.
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Just Be Real said...

That is the purpose of our journey to become the "real you." Dear one, you are okay. Glad you have little helpers. You are a blessings.

Colleen said...

I always had a problem playing with my children. I didn't know how to play. When I would take them to the beach or playground, I could not wait to get home. I WANTED to play with them. But I lost my childhood and didn't know what to do. When I went to a support group and found out that others had the same problem, I was soo relieved and was able to let go of the guilt. And I have been learning how to play ever since.
Your kids love you so much. You are OK the way you are. Hugs.

Colleen said...

Your post here inspired me to write about playing. I put a link to your blog here. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I love the picture! Absolutely adorable. I think the cat has mastered "just being" in the moment. :)
It took me a long time to just "be" and not "do" It seems to be ingrained in our society that we are human doings not human beings. So, glad you can be free in the mountains. Thanks for being so real.

Wonderingsoul said...

I love it that your kids both came and threw their arms around you at a time when you were beating yourself up.
They love you for the wonderful, amazing, loving, 'extreme' For now though, I think you are doing so so so well.


Wonderingsoul said...

I'm not sure what happened to the rest of my comment... It seems to have cut a bit out of the middle!
I wrote that they love you for the individual you are... and that maybe one day you will be able to relax in the moment a little more, but for now, I think you are doing great!


nannykim said...

Sounds like you relax when physically active...nothing wrong with that! I find the same thing with hiking as you have mentioned.

Now, I don't know how old your kids are, but what you should do if they are old enough is body surf the waves etc when you go to the beach. If you have a beach like ours it can be very envigorating. I didn't notice where you live or anything (sorry).
Play instead of vegging out. ;-)