Warning, a bit of a rambling post ahead. It’s a little bit of a brain dump…
This is the first summer where I felt like I truly had some time and energy to grow some roots where I was planted. The previous few summers had been filled with an absence of time, sanity, or money. So it was really nice to be able to grow a little bit where I have been planted. Here’s what I have learned:
Doing nothing is overrated: Sloth is valued in our culture. Apps are designed for you to spend the greatest amount of time “in” them. People binge Netflix. I think frying your brain is fine in moderation. People genuinely need it somedays. However, I found the days where I’ve said that I’m just going to sit and do nothing rarely add to my happiness. I feel like I need to do something. At the bare minimum, I feel like I need to go out for a run. I’ve grown to enjoy cooking as my “big thing” for the day. I’ve cooked a lot of eggplant. Eggplant is not bad.
I guess this summer was pretty good as far as things go. I didn’t feel overworked. I made enough money. (It was a bit tight for a while when I had some emergency car repair and some other expenses.) I think the thing I learned is that it’s important to just let things go. I’m not talking about some hippie-dippie deplugging or doing a cleanse. I’m talking about just putting things away for a little bit. If you try to do everything, you’re probably going to end up doing nothing. Do one thing at a time. Go for a run. Put your energies towards cooking something. Go for a walk. Talk to one person. Watch one movie you enjoy, without your phone in hand. Just sit and enjoy what you have. Don’t worry about every other little thing happening. The world isn’t have significantly more fun than you.
Do boring things. Do things you don’t want to do. Whenever I’ve thought that I don’t want to do something, whether that’s calling a friend, going to church, or going out of my house, I’ve told myself that I probably should do it. It’s probably worth your while to get out of your comfort zone for a little bit. You can’t just be comfortable and well-fed all the time. (Well, you can, but sooner or later it’s going to drive you mad.)
Moderation isn’t bad either. I’ve found that I can’t really do more than two or three episodes of a half-hour television show. It’s fine to call it after two beers. You can enjoy yourself without added chemicals. I’m not saying it’s better or worse. I’m saying it’s all right.
Don’t dwell too much on the past. Don’t try to dig up the past once you’ve buried it either. If you were unhappy with something or someone once, you’re probably going to be unhappy with them again. You’re going to be OK being you.