It's summer time and the living is easy. Let's have a random style related outfit of the day post, shall we?
The big news is (drum roll please):
I got my first hair cut in 4 years!
Yup, that's right, four years ago I got my last cut before chemo. After treatment my hair grew back very slowly, and very differently from how it was. First it came in tight little curls, then course, wirey waves. It didn't grow evenly either. So I simply trimmed my bangs and kept cutting off strange wayward waves until something akin to my previous hair emerged. It was finally time to get a real grown up hairstyle again. The result is this simple layered bob. I like it...though it is a wee bit shorter than anticipated.
Anyway, I wore this outfit last week when the weather took a cooler turn. We've been calling this old zebra striped blouse from Kohls my magic top...it seems to go with everything...paired with any color cardigan it works. It has also fit me at several different weights -- yeah, it really is magic.
I am so busy doing nothing, that the idea of doing anything —
which as you know, always leads to something — cuts into the nothing and then
forces me to have to drop everything.
~ Jerry Seinfeld
I just might be a hardcore couch
potato. There, I said it. The truth is, I love
to sit around.Of course, I’m not exactly doing nothing. I do a lot while I lounge about. Talking, reading, writing, thinking – these are my favorite pastimes and conveniently all can take
place from my living room sofa.
Don’t get me wrong, I have to
get up off the couch plenty. I exercise, run errands, do laundry
(now and then), cook for and feed various people, even clean once in a while. Okay, all kidding aside -- I don't channel surf, nor do I gorge on junk food and I’m also an
animated person in my demeanor. People even describe me as
energetic and enthusiastic...and I am,
just not by inclination. Yes, if only they knew the truth, that by nature I’m more of a sloth. Now, sloth is considered a sin by some and a trait to be ashamed of.I guess I have been embarrassed by my
slothiness at times.Everyone else seems
to be so busy that I tend to feel a little guilty.Or at least, I used to.
We live today in a culture of
busy is better.Ask someone how they are,
and more than likely the answer will be “busy” – complete with the litany from an
exceedingly long to-do list.This is not necessarily a good thing. An article in the NY Times last summer refers to busyness as trap, even
further, as a means of hedging nothing short of existential angst.I’ve noticed that the complaint of being over
extended is almost treated as a badge of honor.
Everyone is trying to cram so much living into their lives that they
aren’t actually living IN their life – instead they are continuously burying
every present moment with frenetic activity, and often as a means for distraction.
(There are people in this
world for whom free time truly is a luxury.They work harder in order to survive than most of us can possibly
imagine.People in those circumstances
are obviously not busy for the sake of being busy.To them, no doubt, this could all sound churlish
or elite; they should have such problems.Mindful of that let me just say – busy is clearly
As I blogged about recently, during breast cancer treatment I did a lot of
reflecting on what mattered most to me.When my mortality seemed immanent I didn’t care about projects I’d never
complete, activities my kids didn’t participate in or how messy my house got
(as if).Every single ounce of guilt or expectation
went right out the window. Think about that -- no expectation, no guilt. It was a rare
opportunity, a moment of unprecedented clarity for me. And as I went thru the mental files of my life I realized
some of the best memories were the times I just sat still and talked with my children...listening
to all their thoughts, great & small.It was those precious moments with no agenda, no pressure to accomplish
anything, that gave me great joy.
I’m not suggesting everyone
sit on their couch and vegetate for the sake of happiness.Things need to get done, sometimes a lot of
things...and sometimes we want to
engage physically.Being active is healthy;
in fact, it’s one of my personal goals, to be more active.But it’s another goal of mine to let go of as
many inessential activities as possible...to gently cull from my life what is unnecessary,
because being busy is, in my opinion, decidedly not better.
Kids need ample unstructured time to let their imaginations grow...and so do us
grown-ups.We need time to slow down, to
stare out the window and day dream, to be creative not as a means to an end but
for the sake of creativity itself...we need time just to let our minds
wander...we need time to be.Socrates said an unexamined life isn’t worth
living.If you are too busy filling
every moment with a flurry of activity then there’s no time to examine anything
to begin with, let alone much of any substance worth examining when all is said
and done.Busy is not only not better; it can be the very thing
that, instead of filling your life, leaves you completely empty.
I found out there are others interested
in letting go of busy, such as those in various slow movements --slow
food, slow home, heck, there’s even slow fashion!But truthfully I feel like some of these slow
advocates are still too ambitious for a slacker like me.Perhaps my speed isn’t slow, it’s off -- as
in turn off everything, sit down and settle back for a bit, get reacquainted
with your family, your friends...and your own self, too.
Like at this very moment...I
am sitting (where else) on my couch typing these words.My kids will be up soon, and the first thing
they will do is come sit next to me, curling into my waiting arms all groggy
and still warm from sleep.I’ll put this
laptop aside and breathe them in, take a moment to absorb the sweet scent of
childhood in its precious brevity.We’ll
talk about what they dreamed last night and what they want to do today.I’ll remind them we have chores and
schoolwork, but after that the day, this day, is ours.We’ll begin it from this place of centering,
the middle of our lives and our home, this humble, slightly sagging, well-worn
sofa.The dust bunnies will be there,
too, lurking...and that’s okay.They can
hang around for a little while longer...I don’t mind.I have more important things not to do.