Remember the last time you sat in your favorite corner nook beneath the warm ambiance of a Tiffany lamp, while cuddled beneath a soft afghan with a warm cup of coffee and an even warmer book? Yeah — me neither.
But perhaps you remember sitting out on the quiet veranda perched in the family heirloom wicker chair as the sun rises over the Wasatch Mountain skyline. Not ringing a bell? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Maybe a simpler example would be more sufficient? Like when is the last time you just sat and meditated or pondered or thought?
If you still can’t think of any recent examples (and I assume most wouldn’t), then my hypothesis is proven correct: We don’t know how to relax. Instead, American society has been inflicted with the plague of “staying busy.” Relaxation has become a once-lauded-now-derided thing of the past, much like the infamous Snuggie.
Now, before we go any further let me be clear, the cure to such an illness cannot be found over the counter at Walgreen’s nor in a hospital Petri dish. In fact, like the common cold or those empty threat tweets from Amanda Bynes, there is no cure. Everyone’s busy and everyone’s behind and that’s as concrete a fact as J-Lo getting Botox. There is, however, treatment that can lessen the blow of being way too busy.
Believe it or not, there once was a time when this magical tool we call the Internet did not exist. To obtain knowledge one actually had to crack open a book, study, read, research, and actually think. For hundreds of years this technique has not only been popular in culture (see what I did there?), but has yielded the refined combination of relaxation AND entertainment. Yet today, that book (unless there’s an abbreviated synopsis posted on Wikipedia) remains unopened and that favorite corner nook collects layers of dust.
There’s no time to read, much less relax. So instead of reading, we’ll wait till the book turns into a movie starring crummy coiffed Kristen Stewart and some shirtless guy, and when we don’t actually have “time” to see it we’ll add it to our Netflix queue and find “time” later — you know between pinning “dream kitchen” pictures to Pinterest and forwarding snarky eCards.
This is the long way of saying, read more offline than online. The Internet is more distracting than Sophia Vergara’s thicker-than-donkey-snot accent. If reading is relaxing for you, stick with parchment over pixels to reduce distraction and unclutter your junkyard you call a head. Re-establishing relaxation starts with unhooking and unplugging.
Perhaps this much reminisced about and romanticized vision of relaxation should move up our priority list for once. This could be hard of course, because no longer is our motto “America: One nation under God,” but “America: The ProcrastiNATION under blog.” Somewhere between “The Bachelor” and “Big Bang Theory” and a couple empty cans of Red Bull, we lost track of time and the management thereof.
For instance, we couldn’t quite get to the gym today and getting the car washed just simply didn’t materialize, but we definitely carved out three hours of viral video watching on YouTube and another hour of re-tweeting profound quotes from that cankerous Kardashian brood. After all, Khloe’s “LOL y’all” tweet really changed my day.
When the day is finally wasted, those Doritos crumbs and Starburst wrappers litter the floor and we find ourselves saying, “Life’s not fair. I never get to just relax!” Yet, a simple lesson in time management would find you sipping Caffeine-Free Diet Coke while watching the day melt away as a cool breeze caresses your cheek.
Aren’t you tired of being tired? I know I am. So, “put up or shut up!” Find time away from the television and the Internet (I assure you such a place does exist). Stop the Instagramming! Take a break from Tumblr! Forget thinking up sarcastic status updates! Instead, take a deep breath and simply relax — after all you deserve it. Don’t you?