Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential
Her Free Spirited Side
Karen was on her way to the airport after a meeting, with two hours to spare before her flight. In a split second decision she drove thirty minutes out of her way just to have a quick visit to the beach. As her feet crossed the sand and met the water, she reveled in having claimed some play time. "I was totally laughing at myself. It felt great to let the free-spirited side of my personality free.” Her time at the beach only lasted twenty minutes before she had to head to the airport but that was all she needed to feel free. It wasn’t something she was accustomed to allowing during a work day, yet the fact that she had done it so easily this time let her know she could do it again.
The Thing About Those Ducks
The dreams and aspirations that people share with me are typically on a larger scale than can fit into their current reality. Yet as they work toward aligning their lives with their future vision, they inevitably mention some qualitative, smaller scale items they want to add to their present day. These are usually very specific. A marketing executive recently told me he wished he had more time to sit at his favorite desk at home and write down his thoughts. Reading also seems to make it to a lot of people’s lists. Other things I often hear are more time outside, more physical activity, or time for enjoying a hobby.
Why do we deny ourselves these simple pleasures? Often we get stuck thinking we need big blocks of time to indulge in such activities, but Karen’s example above shows us that’s not necessarily true. It’s easy to just get caught up in our schedules and forget to carve out some protected pockets of time. Another big reason has to do with those proverbial ducks! We think things have to be in a certain order before we can reward ourselves.
Last weekend I was working on a project, determined to get it done. My husband beckoned from the back yard to come outside and join him. In the midst of my work, with things spread out all over the place, I went. As I reclined on the lounge chair, I was quite pleased with myself for not delaying a bit of relaxation. The project would still be there when I returned.
Getting your ducks in a row may have more to do with a larger work that’s in progress. Don’t wait for the ducks to enjoy the present!
Take Advantage of Now
What brings out your free spirited side? What everyday things make you happy? What would you like to enjoy on a regular basis? As we head toward Memorial Day Weekend, decide what everyday enjoyments you will make room for this summer — even if only for twenty minutes at a time.
“It’s swell to have goals. Achieving them can enhance your pleasure, but on this “ducks in a row” thing, how about a reality check? Even if you get the little dickens to line up in a neat, dutiful row for a spell, they won’t stay that way for any length of time.” – Rick Carson (1)
Here's to you,
(1) Rick Carson, Taming Your Gremlin®: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way, (New York, HarperCollins, 2003), page 40.
© 2007, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.
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