Hurry up and relax

Lately I’ve become quite aware of how intentionally restricted I allow my life to be. I don’t go to new places as often as I’d like (though don’t consider this an open invite), and am too often worried or consumed with anxiety. Like I’ve said before, it’s getting better. This isn’t meant as a “woe is me” complaint, but rather, a launching point for interesting observation. The short of it is, I can be quite uptight! An uncomfortable spot for sure, but certainly not horrible or awful.

For the past few months, I’ve had a strange reaction to washing my hands in warm water. Not a bad reaction, mind you. It’s been quite pleasurable. Perhaps too much though. There are times, especially on cold days, when washing my hands feels so good it’s like I’m on drugs. No, I don’t do drugs, never have touched anything illegal even. But the euphoric feeling seems way beyond what the relaxation of warm water normally would bring. Quite often, I have a strong desire to just leap into a hot tub when I have such a full body experience. Why just leave it to the hands?

This of course brings me back to the notion of being uptight. Exactly how rigid might this indicate I am? Probably, a lot. Probably so much that I go so far as to push away things I like. So when I stumble across a pleasure so simple as warm, relaxing water, it feels consuming. It’s obvious to me as a result of this observation, I can pursue at least two goals. First, I need to be more relaxed across the board. I’ve felt a great success in this lately. I no longer wake up and feel like I’ve been thinking for two hours. I feel calmer throughout the day, and suffer from obsessive thought patterns far less than I used to. I’d credit much of this success to REBT, as well as spending more time daily in purposeful relaxed states. You’d be amazed the good a little searching of iTunes for relaxing music can do you. Secondly, I need to more vigorously pursue things I like. Sure, the warm water feels great, but, there’s more to life than that. This is a goal worth pursuing! My earlier thoughts regarding a hobby are a good start. Beyond that, perhaps I should even consider making more observations on what I like and don’t like. Sounds like fodder for a good list. I’ll try to get back shortly with my brainstorm of some fun things to try.

—May 06, 2005