Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Go wash your tires

Most days I drive to a park a couple blocks from my work and spend my lunch hour alone relaxing in my car.  I know it sounds a little weird but I am not the only one.  There are always several other cars in the parking lot with people just sitting in them.  Some have the seat reclined taking a nap, some are talking on their cell phones and some are just reading a book.

This fall as I was sitting in my car I saw one guy get out of his, calmly walk back to his trunk, pop it open, pull out a spray bottle and a rag and beging wiping down his tires.  At first I laughed because this action seemed so crazy, why would you clean your tires in a the middle of the park just to drive off and get them dirty again?  Maybe if they were obviously dirty like he had driven through a mud puddle but they looked like every other tire on the road, dusty black.

Then as I sat relaxing in my car watching him I noticed something else, he seemed so relaxed.  And it made me wonder if maintaining his vehicle was a stress reliever for him.  While the car was not new it did look like it was very well maintained.  And I started thinking about friends who would bring knitting or quilting work to gatherings when they were stressed out because it helped them relax.  And I thought about how relaxing I find it to fold laundry or take a run.

So often when I am tired or stressed I think the answer is to lay on the couch and watch tv, do nothing.  I know I am not along in thinking this is the answer to that problem.  But I have to admit I have never felt refreshed after a night layng on the couch watching tv, it tends to suck me deeper into my lazy rather than energize me.

When I am in one of my low energy periods I constantly say in my head, "a body in motion stays in motion".  I don't need to do much but just keep moving and I will feel better, and I always do.

When doing any type of exercise training they have what they call "active recovery".  After I run really hard for my 2-5  minutes I want to stop or at least drop to walking but instead I move to a slower run.  At first my body and mind continue to scream out that I should stop because I can't go on but within another minute or so my body really does begin to recover from the hard run and the nice easy pace becomes exactly that, nice and easy.

One of the things I have learned about myself over the past 6 months is how active I like to be.  I always thought I was lazy at home but now I realize I just had so much more time to be productive that I could get a lot done and still squeeze in some lazy.  But there is a lot to be done in my life right now and not much time to do it.  I am not finding my lazy time to be relaxing or enjoyable at all, it needs to go.  And that is good because I am putting together quite the to do list and am excited and energized to make it happen.

Stop sitting around!  Get up and find something that truly relaxes you.

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