Life is full of good intentions, isn’t it? My recipe for good intentions typically includes a lengthy list of items. And on Sundays, that means reading, writing, work and… a bit of exercise.
Out the window.
My usual schedule?
Precisely the same fate.
Would you be surprised to know that I was contemplating hopping a plane? (If only, if only, if only…) I daresay anyone who knows me could picture my ideal destination. (Musée d’Art Moderne, is my ticket ready and waiting at the comptoir?)
If not a jaunt across the ocean, why not an impromptu road trip to New York to the Museum of Modern Art? Ah, the imagination does run wild…
When you permit yourself to scrap the duties of the day, where do you wind up? And with whom?
Maybe you treat yourself to quiet time – coffee and cheesecake at your favorite café. (Screw the diet.) Maybe you take off to the city pool with your kids, leaving behind the laundry and the stack of bills. (They’ll still be there tomorrow.) Maybe you luxuriate in bed… with whatever pleasurable pursuits you fancy. (I’ll say no more.)
Or you ride a bus, take a walk, go for a drive, and the afternoon will unfold as it will.
I know I need to dispense with the routine more often, to take time to breathe and think (without a keyboard attached at the fingertips), to trade the cerebral for the visceral (and revel in it). My companionable cohort-in-crime tells me so. My kids tell me so. Even the dates on the calendar in their own way conform to the refrain: slow down, you move too fast, you bite off too much. Breathe the wildflowers. Say no, so you can say yes.
I generally navigate by a crowded agenda and a list of tasks.
I run myself ragged to meet deadlines with aggressive due dates.
I tell myself “I must, I must, I must.”
Every now and then I realize that the world won’t come to an end if, for 24 or 48 hours, “I don’t, I don’t, I won’t.”
Keeping to a rigorous schedule and its mental discipline is a matter of responsibility, paying the bills, and yes, habit. As for my good intentions today?
I’d rather play: pouring over the Times Book Review and Arts & Leisure; curling up with Adrienne Rich and Cathy Song and Charles Simic and Stephen Dunn; paging slowly through Alex Katz Paints Ada and a half dozen issues of Raw Vision.
Anyone else care to toss a checklist out the window, or have you already for the weekend? How often do you set aside everything you do because you “must,” everything you do for everyone else, and give yourself some time that is entirely for you?
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