Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chillin - but I'm not very good at it.

Photo I took in Venice Beach, CA, Sept 2011

I've been talking about this for a month. Chillin'out. It was the subject of my holiday card. But, I wasn't feelin it. I was the opposite of chill. I was anxious, annoying, high maintenance, stressed. I pretended to be chill over Christmas, but I see photos of myself and feel like I look like I just got out of plastic surgery, my face is so distorted and tight. Lee was ready to put me in a straightjacket on Friday because I'd had a week of technological meltdowns (dead computer, new computer, dead printer, new printer, new printer that didn't work, another new printer, newer printer that still doesn't work) and I was ready for a drink at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. I had a meeting at 1:30.

Yesterday, we came to NY. I had to miss last month's trip because I was too busy. Too stressed out! I seem to LOVE identifying with being stressed. Like, being uber busy is a measure of my value. I have to admit, when Dad said, "You are such a hard worker," that is the HIGHEST compliment we could get from him. So, I / my sibs have this thing: you just can't work hard enough.

But, what we didn't learn in my family is how to re-fuel. If there was work to be done, it always came first. What I've learned when you run your own business is that there is ALWAYS work to be done. Now...do hear this: I LOVE my work. But, I've also learned that can make it harder to stop for the re-fueling! Oh, I just love creating those quotes. Oh, I just love pulling fabrics for a new project. Oh, I just LOVE looking at my books for ideas for that kitchen project! At 2 in the morning, I sometimes wake up and look at my books.

Here's the point: It may be that loving your work makes it even harder to take time to re-charge. It may be that having the father I had makes it harder too. I only remember two (2) vacations in my entire childhood! (And one of them was related to my dad's work.)

So...we get to the airport and Lee and I start to make jokes and laugh. I am laughing so hard I am crying kind of laughing. I began to let go.

Then we get to our apartment in NYC and it is 60 degrees so after the schlep to the 4th floor, we dump the bags and get out to walk Central Park without so much as a sweater! I am in awe of the beauty of the city in mid-winter in this "heat-wave" - people everywhere, running in tank tops and shorts, bikers, baby strollers, walkers. I let go of even more.

Today, we had Alexander and Jessie (my son and his girlfriend) over for football and food. I love this apartment so much because it is so concise. I have what I need and nothing more. It is 450 square feet with 11 foot ceilings and beautiful light.

We went to the market for the perfect vegetables for lunch, came home, and I got to work as Lee settled in for Wild Card Sunday. Zan and Jessie showed up, planted themselves on the sofa and in the leather chair and we spent the next 6 hours talking, grazing on appetizers, drinking cappuccini, eating lunch of spinach, leek and feta quiche, then popping the wine at 5:00. It was like the perfect salve for my wounds - to spend the day with my family in a place where I couldn't go tuck off into the corner of my office, a web that both entices and ensnares.

We laughed.

When they left at 6:30, I passed them a $20 to help cover the cost of a cab. "No, you don't need to do that, Mom," Zan said.

"Let me put it this way. Here's $20 to get the snowboard that has been under our bed for 3 1/2 years back to Brooklyn. Take it in a cab." They took the $20 and the snowboard with hugs, more laughing, and good wishes.

Now, Lee and I are settled in to watch Denver play the Steelers. That Tebow magic! Wowser. Well, for now, I am finally chillin' like I was preachin' in my Christmas card. Finally. Hallelujah, Tim (Tebow.)


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