Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learning to Take it Easy

I feel like I waste a lot of time.  Most of the time when I feel I am being unproductive, it is when I am playing around on-line.  While checking and playing around on facebook, proving people wrong on internet forums and keeping up to date on the most minor of details that happen in the sport of boxing would certainly qualify, by any definition, to be wasted time, I do not always have a productive alternative.  Sometimes, there really is nothing to rush for, and I don't know why I have such a hard time relaxing and taking things slower.  I mean, if I am going to play around on the web, I might as well just call that 20-30 minutes a wash and enjoy myself rather than feel guilty the whole time.

Another example was with my parents this last weekend.  Rather than deal with finding parking in Los Angeles, we just walked everywhere.  Both my Mom and my Dad noticed and checked out everything on every walk.  They noticed much more about my new neighborhood in 2 days than I have in almost a month.  They commented and examined every flower garden of every neighbor that we passed, they noticed a building that says "Martin," and they pointed out dozens of cool new restaurants that I should try.  After a while, it even started to irritate me, as if we were taking too long exploring cool stuff and talking to interesting people, when we should be charging it towards our destination.  I had to remind myself that we weren't on any schedule, had no reservations anywhere, and that talking to each other while walking was the same as talking anywhere else.  

I don't know what I am trying to get done, or where I am trying to go so quickly, but I need to chill out.  Doing something enjoyable is reason enough for doing it...providing of course, that said action is of the legal and ethical variety.  That's why it should be ok for me to lie on the sofa and read a novel for a few hours if that is what I feel like doing.  

Of course, some discipline is needed, but looking at things objectively, I have to admit that I am progressing in all areas that I care about progressing in.  Professionally, I am doing well enough.  I have more freedom than most, in a job that gives me satisfaction and a sense of pride for the work that I am doing, for a salary that works for my lifestyle.  Athletically, I am accomplishing my goals.  While I will still compete in amateur boxing, I am willing to let the sport be second (or 3rd or 4th) in my life.  I have been training consistently, sparring when it is available, and learning and growing.  As a brother, son, grandson, and friend, I would like to be better.  But I am there for people when they need me, and I feel like my relationship with my immediate family gets better all the time.  So...things are going well.  And while I hope to never be satisfied and complacent, I am going to try to enjoy myself and live more in the moment.  Maybe I'll even check out the neighbor's flower garden.

Today I want to do things to be doing them, not to be doing something else.
I do not want to do things to sell myself on myself. 
I don't want to do nice things for people so that I will be "nice."
I don't want to work for money, I want to work to work.
Today I don't want to live for,
I want to live.

- Hugh Prather, "Notes to Myself"



Bobby Smith said...

Such introspection on 4:20.... interesting!!!

Anonymous said...

Haha, Bobby might be on to something. Would explain why you want to mellow out some... Worthy goal nevertheless, so good luck!

floreta said...

there really is a palpable difference in third world countries to this hectic lifestyle. things ARE at a slower pace and people aren't in a rush (in fact, they walk SO. SLOW). but it has its affect on me, too. other than staying at a monastery thing, i AM taking a slower pace. and i like it. to the point where i am actually scared of coming back to the US (reverse culture shock) and wondering if I'll be able to "make it" in the daily grind. i'm doing well here with only $200 a month income. that's kind of sad, but it's relieving too..

Will Conk said...

I relate to this completely Martin. Just being conscious that you want to slow down and enjoy whatever you are doing when you are doing it is going to help.

Juliana said...

i enjoyed this very much. in fact, i think it was very cute. i'd like to squeeze your cheek.
i turn to weed, as you know, when i want to relax, and I believe that it does a lot more than get me high for 2hrs; in those two hours I'm happy, relaxed, I laugh, I appreciate things... and even when the high is gone, the good mood's still there, and the effect permeates throughout the week.

setting aside time to just relax is really important. if you have to, set an alarm and put it away so you don't feel compelled to keep checking the time. also, if you can borrow someone's dog for a walk or to just hang out, it could help. they're fun company and they take it easy, which forces you to do the same.

i enjoy your self-analytical posts!

Alison said...

So... first you are hard on yourself for timewasting too much.

Then you are hard on yourself for always hurrying and not taking enough time.

Then you are depressed because you've been too unnecessarily hard on yourself, so you give yourself a little pep talk (which, incidentally, shows you to be far more well rounded and content than most)and generally give yourself a kick up the arse for being depressed when you actually know you have it pretty good.


Trouble.Thinks said...

"I don't know what I am trying to get done, or where I am trying to go so quickly, but I need to chill out"...
Such is the state of our western world. It's a fast-paced, go-go-go, everybody's in a race kind of world. Destination somewhere. It seems like this is a common feeling amongst many, I know I fight daily to truly enjoy myself and live in the moment.

Good luck with this Martin

Anonymous said...

Is it time to visit Eckart Tolle's
iving in the Now??

Eric said...

Some people were made to have balance. That is what some people need. Others were made to be something different and we suffocate and fade away with balance.
Like it or not you and Your bro and on that same boat with me.

Balance is not what you need my friend. Nothing wrong with it either. Dont let the Balance people make you feel bad for not needing balance. Your just something else. Realize that and then be larger than life.

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