May 19 - "Sun" Day or Else

Several years ago, on a Sunday, I was determined to play in the sun, float in the pool, and read a “good for nothing” novel. I actually had to go out and buy a book because I hadn’t read anything lightweight in years! I had it all planned...I was certain that I would let nothing take me off my course. We had been talking about “workaholism” all week on eClubSoda, and I had become much more aware of my addictive work habits. I was determined to put an end to mine right away.

I was tested immediately when my son-in-law asked to come over and work on our website that particular Sunday afternoon. He didn’t have many available days before he was to leave for summer vacation, and he needed our input; but I was determined to have my day of rest, so I declined his generous offer. I experienced some of my old familiar feelings of guilt, but at the same time, I felt good that I was doing that which I would suggest others do...nurturing myself and taking care of my needs!

“Sun” Day dawned, but it wasn’t so sunny after all. I went on the Internet and learned that the thunderstorms were supposed to hit about three o’clock in the afternoon.

I said to my husband, “If we are going to swim we need to make certain we start around noon.” He was delighted to be called off of the computer and out into the yard to do something other than transplant a tree, so he agreed immediately! Right after brunch, we put on our suits, grabbed our novels, and headed for the pool!

He got right in, swam two laps, climbed up into his floating chair, put the book on his chest and promptly fell asleep. He has this “day of rest” thing down pat!

I, on the other hand, noticed this small plant whispering, “I am so thirsty!”

“Well, I better just give it a quick drink,” I thought, turning on the water faucet. It is interesting looking back now how quickly I reverted to old behaviors in a heartbeat. I can see now the absence of a structure to remind me of my intention, but at the time I was totally blind to what was happening. It all just felt so real and reasonable.

After I watered the first plant, I noticed others that needed it as well...why didn’t I remember that God was planning to water at three o’clock? I don’t know; I just didn’t. In the future, I must remember that addictive behaviors are never very logical but they are extremely resistant to change! Then I noticed a few plants that had not been put in the ground yet….

“It will only take a few minutes to stick these in the ground,” I convinced myself quickly. Somewhere in the midst of all of this I do remember my husband rousing occasionally to remind me that the clouds were beginning to appear and if I wanted any kind of swim or to read my book, I had better get in the pool.

But my head was now blinded by addictive behavior. Before long I had rerouted a pathway I had built a few weeks before, deadheaded my plants, trimmed my rosebushes, tidied the beds, and sprayed for fungus. “Okay, I am coming in,” I finally said victoriously. Literally within seconds, raindrops fell on my head, thunder roared, and my vision of floating in the sun was no more. It was 3:05 PM.

What happened? Why did I do this? Well, I just didn’t have quite enough structures in place to remind me of my new design on life. I didn’t lose all my hard work up until then; I wasn’t hopeless or helpless; however, I did learn that I needed an additional structure to help me remember that it was okay for me to relax.

So, I now have written into my Outlook schedule the non-negotiable hour that I will be spending in the floating chair next weekend reading my new “fluffy” book. I am excited about that, since even though I didn’t have very long to read in the pool today, I did make it through the book’s acknowledgements, and they were hysterically funny. I actually laughed out loud! I am definitely looking forward to my date with myself next week.

There is just one thing that still worries me, however,...after planting the last flower today, I felt uneasy. I had nothing left to either plant or transplant. So tonight after dinner, I went straight to Home Depot and purchased a few (well, this is a few defined by an addict...perhaps someone else might, just might, call it a lot!!!) gardenia bushes and azaleas. Maybe I can get them all in the ground before next “Sun” Day ???

What structures do you have in place to remind yourself of your new design on life? Are you keeping your eyes on what you want to do rather than what you are giving up? Are you scheduling your time to make certain that you are truly able to meet your genuine needs? Will 260 how to get your wiggle back you look for what you need to add to your support structure should you falter, rather than to berate yourself for a stumble along the way? How much “sun” are you putting in your day?

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