Monday, November 10, 2008

Frankie says...

I am really good at a lot of things. I can organize and clean and sort and assemble anything and everything. I can plan a party, execute it with purpose and passion and have the house back to perfection by morning. I have a phenomenal memory. I can run all my errands on any given day without ever backtracking...and, after all that, I can have lunch with a friend, coffee with another and dinner with a third...Heck, I have been doing this all of my life.
There is only one thing that I have never been able to do: RELAX. Actually, it's not that I have not been able to...I guess it's more like I've never allowed myself to.'s more like I've never even wanted to. Ever.
The truth is--in my old life--I truly did not have an opportunity to relax. I was married at 18 and had two kids by 21. I always worked, went to school and ran the tightest ship you can imagine. Clean house, smart kids, and of course--always the best employee. I never stopped. I remember when I filled out the application to work at Montage, it asked: "What are your hobbies?" I left it blank. I couldn't think of anything. I didn't have one. I never had time.
But here's the deal--I have lived alone for nearly four years now. My house is beyond clean. I have to FIND things to wash or organize and I can only plan so many parties. My kids are great, grown and gone. I have more time and energy than a human being should be allowed. Yet, to be very frank(ie), I STILL don't have a hobby and still don't have the slightest idea how to relax!
But, at the advice of every friend I have--as well as professional help--apparently, I need to learn how.
Today was day one. This morning I went to Burke Williams for a deep tissue massage (heavenly...) I went in the jacuzzi for a bit, then went in the sauna and sat in the quiet room for a while. I MADE myself stay...and I breathed deeply trying hard to let go of all my thoughts. I tried very hard to relax. It certainly does not come naturally to me. I was thinking, "OK, that's relaxing time, now off to get something done." As if 'relaxing' was something to check off my 'to do' list.
After the spa, I sat in a restaurant and read a magazine over lunch. Then I came home and took a nap. I woke up about 5pm...and, well...I honestly felt an incredible need to do something productive.
I got up, did two loads of laundry, cleaned out my closet, made dinner, watched a movie and went through a stack of bills. I got my November cards and gifts in order, made a cup of tea and added a few songs to my iPod. I talked to a friend on the phone and propped up my feet with my laptop in its place. I emailed and checked Facebook and now I'm blogging. And I feel much better.
Perhaps each of us has a different definition of 'relaxing'. Maybe we even have different levels of desire for such a thing? So far, I have to admit that I can only do it for so long. My need for productivity FAR outweighs my need to relax...or it did. Or, maybe I need to find the right combination of both? I like work. I like productivity. I like busy and crazy and hectic. I'm good at that!! I don't LIKE to relax and I admit I don't even know how...
but like I said, I am willing to learn.


PETE Di LALLO said...

I often am the same with relaxing, at which time I say a prayer to the appropriate saint:
Dear St. (fill in the special saint, Jude,Jerome,Anthony)
"Please help me relax and hurry up with your answer"

Chris T (alanna's mom) said...

Maybe you are just not making note of when you ARE relaxing....going to lunch, dinner, baseball games, looking through old photos, getting together with friends and most of all blogging! All those things are relaxing...right?
If doing nothing is relaxing....I'm with you....I can't relax!