Ever since I turned the 50 Women manuscript in to my editor, I’ve been crazy-relaxed, all laid-back and free as a bird. I know I don’t even have to mention this, because by now you know all my myriad neuroses, but I am typically not a relaxed person.
Traditionally, relaxing for me looks like sitting on my lounge chair on the back patio for 30 seconds, then leaping to my feet to sweep the oak tree wormy thingys from the cement. Sitting back down on the lounge again for another 30 seconds, then dashing inside to get a glass of lemonade. Sitting back down again for 30 seconds, then thinking now would be a good time to paint my toenails.
You get the picture.
But lately I’ve been relaxing. Like full-out really relaxing.
A few nights ago I was sitting on the back patio in my lounge chair. I was wearing my owl apron. It was dinner prep time, and since I’m the sous chef around here, I’d gone inside, wrapped my owl apron around my waist, and asked Brad what I could do to help.
“Nothing,” he’d said. “We’re just having burritos. It’s under control.”
“Great,” I’d answered. “I’ll be on my lounge chair if you need me.”
I sat on my lounge chair in my owl apron in the corner of my back patio and watched the birds. I read a few pages from Carry On, Warrior (good book, by the way). I watched the birds some more. I took a picture of me lounging and reading in my apron and posted it on Facebook.
After a long while, I went indoors to check with Brad on dinner. While I was in the kitchen I announced that I had never been so relaxed in my entire life.
That’s pretty much how the evening unfolded, all relaxed and carefree, until about 10 p.m., when suddenly, while sitting on the couch watching House Hunters, I screamed.
“What?! What?! What’s the matter?!” Brad yelled. “What’s wrong?!” For the record, Brad really hates it when I scream abruptly into the still night without warning.
“Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!” I yelled. “Ohno! Ohno! Ohno! We were supposed to serve at Matt Talbot tonight at 5! I totally forgot! I totally forgot! I totally forgot!” For the record, Matt Talbot is a soup kitchen and outreach center here in Lincoln.
At that point I did what I always do when I forget about something big (which frankly isn’t very often). I immediately blamed Brad. “Why didn’t you have this on your phone calendar? Why am I always the one who has to keep track of everything?! You’ve got to have my back on these things! I can’t take it anymore!”
I immediately emailed the woman in charge of local missions at our church, apologizing profusely. I considered blaming Brad in my email, but I’ll have you know, I took the high road.
But even after the email apology, I still felt like a total roach. I mean, who forgets to volunteer because they are too busy relaxing? I can see forgetting because you are overscheduled or working late or your kid has the chicken pox, but forgetting because you are stretched out on a lounge chair bird-watching? I dreamed about Matt Talbot that night, about all those people lined up at the window with their empty trays, no one in the kitchen to serve them.
The next morning, I felt even worse, especially when I remembered that I’d taken that photo of me relaxing in my owl apron on the back patio and posted it to Facebook at 5 p.m., the exact time we were supposed to be volunteering at the soup kitchen.
For the record, I’d also forgotten about the kids’ haircut appointments, which had been scheduled for the same afternoon.
This, people, is what happens when a Triple Type A person goes all crazy-relaxed. I tell you, it does not work. I’m back to painting my toe nails and sweeping the oak tree wormy things off the back patio.
So what about you? Are you a better relaxer than me? What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?