Purposeful Aimlessness

When I experience a very busy stretch of life, it takes me several days to mentally decompress and slow down.  I liken it to driving on a highway, going 70 miles per hour, then exiting onto residential roads.  Even though you're tired from your journey, everything feels glacial when you crawl along at 25 miles per hour.  It's hard to acclimate to a slower pace.

But, eventually, you do.  The speed of residential roads, not highways, eventually begins to feel normal again.

That's where I am in life right now.  I submitted final grades for my summer classes late one evening, then we left for vacation with my husband's family early the next morning.  (I don't recommend this degree of haste when packing.  I forgot plenty of useful beach-y things, like hair bands, a hat, a swim cover-up, and shoes. In good news, we remembered to pack all three kids.) 

It was a wonderful -- and active -- vacation.  We spent a day at a water park, we crabbed with our nieces and nephews, and we visited the beach each day where, like flip-flop-clad sherpas, we lugged our towels, bags, sunscreen, coolers filled with drinks and snacks, and beach chairs across the blazing sand.

The afternoon we returned home, we had two hours to unpack, then we dressed up to attend a local wedding.  The very next day, after more unpacking, loads of laundry, and vacuuming sand from our minivan, we had house guests arrive for several days.

All of the activity has been great fun, but I feel like I haven't stopped moving.  I'm ready to get off the highway, but I don't yet remember how to adjust to a slower pace. 

So, now, during this glorious month of July, it's time to learn how to be aimless again.  To get lost in books and fun projects, to not wear my watch, to not be bound to a tight schedule.  Aimlessness can be therapeutic, especially when you're wound tightly.  There doesn't always have to be somewhere to go or something to complete.

You don't always have to be driven.  Sometimes, you can just be.

You can just be a reader.

You can just be a bike rider who waits on a pier to watch a sunset.

You can just be in awe.

Purposeful aimlessness.  It takes time to settle into this pace, but it's worth it.

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