June 21, 2017

Taking Steps is Easy / Standing Still is Hard


Alone on the beach St. Croix Virgin Islands


In the past few years, I've gotten more aware of my need to constantly be in motion.  When my days and hours aren't filled, it is extremely unnerving.  At the same time, I'm always feeling burnt out and need rest.  Yet the second I get to "resting" the anxiety creeps in again.

My husband and I talk about this often, and he has a similar problem.  I think it's a combination of FOMO, the 24-hour news cycle, and a never-ending connection to other people's thoughts via social media.



Cue our most recent trip to St. Croix.  There were endless hours where all I did was sit still.  Maybe read.  Maybe Instagram a little.  But mostly just sit.  On the morning of day two, I was having coffee on the porch by myself. Everything was utterly quiet and peaceful.  It was a gorgeous day, and the sea was glittering and clear blue.

I started to panic.

I thought..... Wait ..... don't I need to be doing something?  Cleaning.  Writing.  Consulting itineraries.  Checking things off my checklist.  I could be out here with my laptop.  What if anyone passes by sees me without concealer and mascara?!  I really should go inside and run the flat iron through my hair....


Then, after 15-20 minutes of these agonizing thoughts, my focus finally began to shift.

I noticed hundreds of little yellow butterflies chasing each other through the trees.  Lizards crawled up palm leafs, competing for the best bug-catching spot.  Stray cats that lived on the property sprawled in the sun.  The couple a few doors down were heading to the beach, towels in hand.  The hotel maid entered a cabin with a bucket of cleaning supplies.

And then I realized what was happening all around me and I was totally missing it:  LIFE.  This is life!  Facebook isn't life.  Instagram isn't life.  The news isn't life.  This is it.  The thousands of little worlds existing around us at all times.  The seemingly mundane moments that are actually full of joy and soul and meaning.

It was a nice lesson, and I hope I can continue to keep it with me in my heart.  Although it's hard, because this world generally doesn't encourage people to stop and smell the roses.

Still.  Even every once in awhile.  It's nice to slow down and just take notice.



♥♥♥
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