Friday, May 30, 2008

Sticky Thoughts

If it's been forever since I've written here, it's not for lack of things going on. I do keep relatively busy with 2 jobs, youth group, friends, church stuff. But I never thought I was extraordinarily busy.

Suddenly aware of tension headaches and a constant stiff neck, I realized, This isn't normal. A kind friend gave me a neck and shoulder massage at work and asked me if I was stressed out about something. I thought, I have nothing to be stressed about--I'm not that busy. But why would my body be reacting like this?

Then I realized: It seemed for a while that I was not so much busy doing things, as busy thinking about and planning things. I realized I had so much on my mind, afraid if I let anything go I would forget about it and it would catch me unready, unprepared. So after my massage, being the tactile person that I am, I got out my pad of mini sticky notes at work and wrote down each thought like shot rattling around in my mind on individual stickys. I covered my desk with them. Then I grouped them into categories. I had the essentials: get to work on time, work out, etc. Then the urgent things: helping plan a baby shower for a friend, checking the next step to apply to grad school, etc. Then the important, but not urgent things. Then of course, those things I realized I was spending energy thinking/planning/dare-I-say-worrying about over which I have no control, or which I have no obligation or commitment to keep. Like this blog, for instance.

I would get stressed out because I hadn't checked my email recently, or because I hadn't looked something up that had piqued my interest, or because I hadn't updated my facebook status lately. I know it sounds so silly, but for some reason, when I start something for my free-time, down-time, de-tox time, I feel like I have to do it. Like it becomes another appointment on my schedule. Bad habit to get into!

So, that was a couple weeks ago. Over Memorial weekend, Andrew and I took a trip up to the mountains to stay in a cabin overlooking a valley and ridges beyond. That was just the kind of relaxation I needed. No agenda, wake up with the sun, read all morning, forget about technology, and just soak up the quiet. Beautiful. We did some fun things, like walk around the Arts in the Park Festival in Blue Ridge, go to a double feature at one of 5 drive-in movie theaters in Georgia, and eat at a riverside restaurant tucked in the winding valley of the Toccoa River. By the way, we saw Indiana Jones and Ironman, both of which were enjoyably good.

So if you're ever stressed out and don't know why, get out a pad of sticky notes and just write what's on your mind, whatever you can come up with; it might surprise you how much you have weighing on your shoulders.

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