Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Break Time!

Maybe your life is going swimmingly right now, and you can’t imagine wanting, much less needing, to take a break of any kind from it all. Maybe you’re at the keyboard even as you read this (which isn’t all that impossible!), and before you read this, your fingers were flying over the keys with ideas popping forth so fast you couldn’t keep track of all of them…and you’re only pausing for a few minutes to read your favorite blog (hint, hint) before you go right back to that wonderful white-hot creative fire, at the end of which time you’ll have written deathless prose of a quality that will amaze even you. OR…maybe not! :-) This brief sojourn, however, isn’t so much about taking a break from work it is about breaking free in a bigger sense. Breaking out. Breaking away from old habits, if you need to and if you feel strong enough to. Breaking out of your shell around other people. Breaking out of the mold your job has put you in or out of the clique that’s getting old and timeworn. Breaking out… …of your own box. Doesn’t that thought just give you tingles? So what have you done in the past, or can you do now, to break yourself free? To take a slightly different path? What could be the first domino in a chain of change that might send you on a whole new journey or—even better—bring you back onto a path you’ve been on before, but got off, and have missed (without even knowing you missed it)? Some things that have broken people free: 1) buying that top-of-the-line bathing suit, even though you don’t have a “bathing suit” figure—and enjoying how great it makes you feel in the pool or the lake 2) jogging outdoors instead of indoors on a treadmill, sniffing the last heady scents of summer on the air—or the first crisp air of autumn 3) swallowing your self-consciousness, marching up to the counter at that exotic coffee or tea place, and ordering something outrageously wonderful without worrying about looking like a schmuck who’s never done it before 4) picking up a sketch pad and a package of crayons or water paints, sitting on the floor, and playing with color 5) walking to church, to a corner store, to the library, to the post office, to a park, even to work—anywhere you can get to without risking major life and limb damage—and talking with all the cats and dogs you see on the way 6) taking a drive in the country, or even just the suburbs, moving fast, with your favorite music cranked up to the point of pain…and singing along 7) trying your hand at something physically challenging and/or new: dancing (ballroom, line, or belly!), handball, kayaking, rock wall climbing, mini-golf, rollerblading, water ballet… …or many, many more. I started thinking about these things, and more, because today I engaged in just such a breaking-free exercise. I used a sporting-goods gift card I earned through a work-fitness program not to get something for one of my kids—which I was tempted to do—and not to plan ahead on a Christmas present buy for someone else, but instead, I used it on myself. For my very own, official NBA, indoor-outdoor basketball. With which I am going to dribble, shoot, and otherwise make a glorious fool of myself in my very short driveway. But because my falling-down garage came with a dilapidated basketball hoop on it…and because for years I’ve promised myself that when I had a basket, I would do this very thing…I decided the time, and the opportunity, had come. Basketballs are pretty reasonably priced, and they’ll even ship them to you, which means I don’t have to shell out gas money and try to finagle car time to go buy the thing…I can have someone else do that rushing around for me. Feels good? You bet it does. I’ll bet you’ve got something like that you’ve promised yourself you’re going to do. And I’ll bet you’ve promised yourself that for a long, long time. And I’ll also bet that, if you look hard at the circumstances of your life, you already have the ways and means of keeping that promise…and doing the thing you’ve been keeping in a “SOMEDAY” file cabinet. Well, today, I encourage you to take out one of those things—and check it off the list. Do it. Make it happen. And when you do, see what else it invites you to do. See how else you can break free.And then see how well you sleep tonight! Thoughts? Janny


Deb said...

Break free? Absolutely. I may serve the tacos this evening on the Wedgewood china I got for my wedding. Just feels good to make a statement.

My recent breakout has been becoming a rabid, orange-and-blue wearing Bears fan. My husband just shakes his head. I say, "Call it my midlife crisis if you want. Or not. Just deal with it."

Muhsin is mah mannnn!


Janny said...

mwah hah haaah, indeed!

And GMTA, because it was a tough decision when I was buying my Bears jersey as to whether I would go with "Mooooose" or Lance Briggs. In the end, I got a #55 Briggs jersey, but I may still go back and get a Muhsin Mohammed as well. :-)

My husband, of course, understanding Da Bears fever far better, merely asked for a Butkus jersey, which he now wears proudly. However, I can only imagine the comedic exclamations that would emerge from Butkus himself if he were to see a man wearing his jersey...and a ponytail.

We probably shouldn't go there.

mwah hah haaaah, yet again...