My last vacation in Colombia left me–besides several extra pounds–a new philosophy of life. The days I spent in the country made me reflect about the way I exist in time and how little power I have over it.
The fact is that the Earth moves at the same velocity regardless of the latitude or longitude I am at, and nothing in the Universe can change that. My uncle, who grows rice, lives his life literally and metaphorically, at the speed of light, without rushing. Meanwhile, I live my life as if I were a lab-rat running around in a metal wheel, never reaching the end.
Keeping in mind my geographic limitations, I decided to implement the “country life motto” and apply a couple of small changes to benefit my mental health–if there is any left!
The first change happened in the mornings from Monday through Friday. Before our vacation, I used to jump from the bed to the shower like a grasshopper as soon as the clock alarm rang. I would get ready, then run to the kitchen to shove a piece of bread and cold coffee down my throat, while my son, my husband, and my two dogs enjoyed breakfast like kings.
Now, when the alarm clock rings, I hit the snooze button and sleep 8 more minutes. Then, I walk calmly to the kitchen and have breakfast with my hubby while we discuss the news of the day. Later, I pack my son’s lunch, wake him up with tickles rather than screams, and get ready for work.
I can’t explain it, but my mood changed. Although the time frame remained the same–6:10 a.m. until 7:50 a.m.–I can complete my morning routine more efficiently without yelling like a drill sergeant.
The second change was to start connecting with nature. Since I can’t live in the country, the golf course seemed the closest place to do it. For years, I have seen my husband dedicate hours to practice this sport, and if I complain because he plays too much, he argues that it relaxes him-I thought he was just hiding from me, haha!
So, I decided to give it shot and I started taking classes last Friday. I may not be riding a horse, but feeling the sunshine and listening to the branches of the trees when the afternoon breeze sways them, placed me in a mental nirvana.
Stress weakens the immune system and it is the cause, or aggravating factor, of the common cold, weight gain, sleeplessness, heart disease, depression, ulcers, and back pain among others. Some studies even pin it as the cause of some of types of cancer.
Based on this I wondered, do I have to wait to receive a catastrophic diagnosis to start making small changes to better my life? The answer is no. Prioritizing myself over my duties as a mother, wife, or business owner is not selfish but caring. I have to love myself before I can love others.
“Rushing things can make one tired,” is a popular and wise saying in Colombia. I believe in it now, and I will continue to put it in practice as long as I don’t become a member of Congress.
Thank you for reading and sharing.