Friday, September 18, 2015

The Art of Just Sitting

Attwood Bay, BC


Life is busy.

Life with three teens, two careers, and a husband in the RCAF sometimes borders on the insane. I love my life, though, and all of the amazing opportunities it presents. I love that I get to meet so many interesting people. I love that at my day job I can comfort the elderly in their final stages of life. I love the unique experiences that come from being the mom of three active kidlets and the wife of a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces. And I love that we've seen so much of the world because of the fact that my hubby serves.

But sometimes--like now, for instance--I need to just sit.

Okay, maybe I'm not just sitting. I'm writing. But, For me, writing's like reading. It's an escape. I'm one of those extroverted introverts, and my batteries require a few minutes of calm and peaceful now and then to recharge themselves. A coffee, a comfy chair, some quiet music, a book or a laptop, and--my special treat--a warmed hot pack on my back. Oh, yeah. Bliss with a capital B. Heaven.

I need that time to rest my brain. Free time is so rare these days that when it happens it's almost a shock.  Wow! Is that really an hour in my schedule where I don't have to drive, work, organize or clean? I don't have groceries to buy, or checks to write, or meetings to attend, or laundry to do or kids to pick up or phone calls to make or forms to fill out or prescriptions to pick up or appointments to make...

Today, I have a day off. Imagine! What a strange concept.

Daddy-daughter moment
The problem is, in today's society our brains and bodies get so programmed to go a thousand miles a minute that it's hard to do nothing. It's hard to put the smart phone down (are they really that smart?), forget about the to-do list (oh yeah, we need bread...Must. Write. That. Down.) and be comfortable with simply existing. We may understand that the world will not cease because we are stepping away from it, but it's darned difficult to let ourselves pull back. We have to force ourselves to just sit.

So here's a scenario. Five days on a thirty-five foot sailboat. In a place so isolated it's called
Desolation Sound.

If you follow my Facebook page, you'll have seen some of the pictures. It took months of planning, hours and hours of preparation, and a big, circled no-you-may-not-book-anything-here slot on the calendar, but the Dunne Family were able to sail away to a place where there was no cell phone service. No wireless internet, and sometimes the mountains were so tall around us that they blocked our GPS.

Three teens, three books...
When you are that far from civilization on a tiny boat with four other people, just sitting is not just a necessity, it's an art.

We read a lot of books. In the five days, my eldest daughter read six. We played cards. We scanned the water for sea creatures (we saw porpoises, seals, thousands of jellyfish and even a pod of orcas), and the shore for bears (sadly, didn't see any). We snacked and fished and slept and sailed and at times we just sat.

It was awesome.

And when we came back, even though our bodies were tired and our laundry bins were full, our brains were rested...and our familial batteries were recharged for the insanity of the fall.

It's been two weeks since we returned from our holiday, and there's been barely a moment to think since, so days like today--with empty day planners and kids at school--are a treat to be savoured. Precious time to reflect on a summer well-spent, and maybe to read a little, write a little and just sit. I don't think you can ever perfect the art of just sitting...but I perhaps today I'll give it a shot.

And now to re-heat that hot pack...


Brenda

Strange humans...what are your rushing for? 




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