“You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.”
– James M. Barrie (1860-1937)
Taking it easy is not a new concept. It’s so goddamn cliche – I mean, how many can you think of? Stop and smell the roses. Don’t worry, be happy.
However, while it pervades our culture, it is precisely the cliched nature of the idea that has made it seem illegitimate, too watered down, lost in the din of empty thoughts. In one ear, out the other.
When do we really relax? I’m not talking about a trip to Disneyland or spending a week in Vegas. That may get you away from your work and regular routine – but that’s certainly not relaxation. (Really, if you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’ll know the experience is far from stress-free.) The kind of relaxation I’m talking about is where you lie down in a hammock in the middle of nowhere and do absolutely nothing but sleep and maybe read a book (while sipping a lemon iced tea, why the hell not). I’m talking about the kind of relaxation where you have no responsibilities on your plate, truly no worries. Don’t have to go to work – don’t even have to worry about ever going to work. All you maybe have to “worry” about is what you’ll eat when you’re finally hungry.
Think of the cliches again. A dime a dozen, right? What does it mean to relax anymore? Even though it has become a stock phrase to say “relax and just enjoy life,” do we ever really mean it? Is it a coincidence that you can so easily dismiss this attitude? Our culture has nearly criminalized relaxation – it is lazy, unproductive, uncivilized. Get a job, hippy. Contribute to the system and actually earn your living.
Pulling college all-nighters, agonizing over your living room set-up, being disappointed by Iron Man 3… Stop worrying about the things that don’t matter. Just be.
[Edit: Well, that was cryptic and disorganized as fuck. Good luck figuring that out.]