"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.