Monday, March 26, 2012

dancing's for another day

I just finished the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. And it BLEW my MIND. I won't go into all the ways it did so here. You should read it, though. Whoever you are. Just read it.
The one chapter I WILL discuss was about rice paddy regions of China. And how the people there toil ENDLESSLY on their plots of land, and have lots of maxims that encourage constant productivity. And I started thinking about how I spend my time. To someone outside myself, I probably seem crazy driven and productive. In fact, I know I do because my friends make comments about it all the time. But I don't feel like I"m doing enough. Which is probably a sign of a productive person. But I digress.
I started thinking about how I'll sit down and watch TV when I get home sometimes. Or go online. Or nap on the weekends. And I realized how unfulfilling those things are. I'll let myself slow down in the name of recuperation, but all I feel afterwards is guilt or annoyance with myself. Time passes too quickly. Opportunities are lost.
Then I contrasted this with how much I LOVE exploring and being busy on vacation. On our honeymoon, we spent one week in Barcelona and the other in the Canary Islands. Of course we did a lot of wandering and tasting and finding during Barcelona week. We got maybe one day of that in the Islands. And the first week felt like it went on forEVER. The second week was still nice but it felt like it flew by.
Pretty sure this means that I hate holding still. Which I probably should've realized before, but I didn't. One day this weekend, I even used this logic to get myself up to take a shower. Which, unless I have a strict schedule or something, is typically impossible. But I reminded myself that I'd feel way better about my day if I got showered and went to do things right away. And oh man it was so true. I was just laying in bed with nowhere to go! That used to be my jam!! This is exciting stuff, people.
And THEN! Friday night we went to dinner with some of The Foliage's family. (He has a new aunt. Seriously. It's a long story. Which I probably don't have the right to discuss on MY blog, but email me for gossip.) And I told my future-stepmother-in-law about this epiphany. And she responded, very seriously, "You should really look into that." Like...she thinks I should be tres concerned. About how I like to do things to relax.
I was pretty taken aback. But then I remembered that the typical mode of relaxation in my community (or whatever you want to call it) is holding still. Maybe getting a massage. Having someone wait on you hand and foot. And not wanting to do those things can easily be construed as on-the-road-to-Strokesville.
My point in promoting activity wasn't to say that I want to WORK all the time. But that I'd rather spend my downtime learning a new craft or taking a yoga class than clearing the Netflix queue. But now I don't know who's ridiculous - the American who looks to rest for refreshment, or the rice farmer who scoffs at sleeping. Please weigh in so I can crowd-source medical-ish advice rather than find a professional. Gr8thx.


Jennierose said...

I'm the same way. I hate free time. I hate sitting still, unless I'm icing my legs from the various events I'm training for. People think that I'm crazy - I just think that they're boring.

littledice said...

you sound like a pretty typical virgo :)

Anonymous said...

I think this will come in handy when you have kids and they just will not stop moving! No worries.