A Word About Maintaining Sanity

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Is this the test pattern?

I have not abandoned my effort to compete for the title of Happiest Man In The World.  To the contrary, I am training more diligently than ever.

An important part of my training is going for long walks as often as I can.  I prefer the woods and the beaches.  I don’t think it really matters where I go, or how fast I walk, as long as I walk for long enough.  Over an hour and a half and less than 3 hours seems about right.  I begin early in the morning, hopefully before 6:30 am.  At that time, the sun is low in the sky and birds are still singing their morning cantatas.  The air is sweet.  It’s cool.  In fact, it’s perfect.  Even when it’s raining.  It brings me happiness.

Soon, later in this month, I hope to go on vacation.  This is an important part of my training.  When I’m on vacation I do very little.  I read. I write. I swim. I day dream. I increase my meditation.  I increase my walking.  Some people have suggested that the sloth might be my totem animal.  But they are wrong.  I never voluntarily climb trees.  I do not hang from my appendages.  Instead, I turn my focus more exclusively on the beautiful planet we all live on.  I explore my feelings of gratitude.  I see where inspiration might be.  I do only what I am called to.  Mostly, I’m just being.  And just being brings restoration and freshness.  And yes, happiness.

I’ve been known to rant here.  And to argue against what the Government is doing or not accomplishing.  That has sometimes made me happy, made me feel that I was speaking the truth to power.  Even though in all likelihood power wasn’t reading anything I wrote.  But that kind of writing can also be exhausting, and at some point, it can be frustrating.  Frustration doesn’t make me happy.  Nor does exhaustion.  So a change of course might be restorative.

You don’t have to go to exotic places to have a vacation.  You don’t have to be rich.  You can stay home, and have a vacation.  What you need is some time, enough time that you can put your usual, daily life briefly on pause, and collect yourself.  Time to refresh yourself.  Time to think less habitual thoughts.  Time to assess and appraise.  Time to care for yourself.

None of this is earth shaking.  None of this is particularly controversial.  I’m saying it because the season lends itself to slowing down, to disconnecting briefly, to taking a break.  I’ll take a break in a couple of weeks.  And I hope that will make me happier.

What would make me most happy, I think, is if everyone could take a break and come back in the Fall excited to continue, rested, energetic.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

So what’s your vacation plan?

15 comments

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    • Inky99 on August 5, 2009 at 12:20 am

    but I’d breathe a lot of fumes, have my brain bombarded by a lot of machine noise, might get hit by a car, and have to avoid eye contact with homeless people.  

    Maybe I should move out of the city.

    • Edger on August 5, 2009 at 2:51 am

    One that people have thought about for centuries. 😉

    Many years ago Alan Watts wrote a small book titled Become What You Are, and in the the first paragraph he talks of a poem written several centuries before…

    I don’t know if this helps or not, but maybe?

    Stopping trying to be happy seems to be the trick. 😉

  1. …I think you’ve captured something many of us are feeling.  A pause, a slowing down after all the yelling, all the working.  And to what result?  

    I know I haven’t posted much.  I’m feeling it’s time to go more inward, more quiet, breathe long slow breaths and weave the moments like a tapestry of sucor.  

    After rest and nourishment, the return is fresh.

  2. and not completely sane ;-D

    Vacation?  What is that?  Srsly, my Evil Corporate Overlords will give me a paid week off, but I have to find out when, exactly, it’s due.

    I’m still waiting for my one-year evaluation (due two weeks ago).  It doesn’t help that the shop lost an experienced manager and gained someone who…is a really nice guy but his employees have to train him.

    Gah.  Vacation.  I want one.  As if.

  3. I agree, davidseth.  I think it’s essential to “kick back” — not worry and hang loose from time to time.  Rejuvenation!

    It’s this kind of thing that makes it all so meaningful!

    At that time, the sun is low in the sky and birds are still singing their morning cantatas.  The air is sweet.  It’s cool.  In fact, it’s perfect.  Even when it’s raining.  It brings me happiness.

    Have a wonderful “lazy” vacation!  🙂

    • Heather on August 6, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Just me and the dog.

    My break is over though, for a while.

    Instead of three long walks a day I’ll get in one short one in the pitch dark morning getting little frights (works better than coffee) from  slinking cats and rolling possums and massive spider webs and then a long one at night if I can still stand up at the end of an 11 hour day with school kids.

    After ten months on I’ll get another two off to thank my lucky stars again.

    Can’t beat it.  

  4. has been spent cultivating a tiny plot of land 50’by 100′ I have in some insanity decided it can save the world to grow and produce vegetables organic. I think I might need a walk.

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