Monday, April 25, 2011


     I never want anyone to know that my life is too good or that I am having too much fun. If someone suggests to me that something I am doing sounds enjoyable, or restful, or reviving, I always explain that it may be that, but it's also productive and instructive or, actually, a fair amount of hard work.
     Perhaps I don't feel deserving of vacation or recovery from the stresses of life. Always pushing, ever productive, and multi-tasking; that's the world I believe I am meant to occupy. Not one with spaciousness and ease and love flowing and gentle breezes; instead, a world of effort expended and rewards earned.
     Where did I get this struggle ethic and how do I get rid of it? I don't want it anymore. I want to believe that it's ok to relax, that it's ok to admit that I enjoy my time, that I like to go to the movies alone in the middle of the afternoon, get foot massages, lie in the sun, indulge in the occasional excesses, and that I take naps in my car. If someone asks me directly, I am truthful about my pleasures, but I blush and smile sheepishly while responding, as if I've been caught at something: guilty me.
     If I purchase something for myself, I make excuses about it... that it was on sale or I really needed it. Why do I do that? Isn't it ok to treat myself to things that please me? I feel so caught up in my own neurosis. It feels riduculous to be so driven to "doing" and productivity, and so sneaky about being restful. And it definitely isn't that I would rather be pitied than envied. I don't want either of those things pushed my way.
     I think, perhaps, that I take such incredible pleasure in relatively simple things, that they just feel impossible to deserve. That's my hook. If the world knew how richly I enjoy certain experiences, I feel sure I would be punished because I have not earned my right to them. Why should I be so blessed and so lucky? To have my health and intelligence and be athletic and in a supportive and healthy loving relationship and to love my job. It's too much... too much blessing...
     It feels like the great secret that no one seems to acknowledge that life is all about the joy of being alive, and not the fret of doing and the pursuit of achievement. It seems unspoken that we should all suffer and struggle against all odds, to earn our right to pleasures, but all the while, the incredible delights of life are ours to enjoy, and there's nothing to do or earn at all. I, for one, am going to enjoy life today, out in the open, and be grateful for the gift of being here at all.

I will remember today that I do not have to earn my right to be alive and to enjoy the pleasures of living. I will simply express my thanks.