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Lighten up by letting go

A friend of mine spent an entire day last weekend at home in his pajamas. He watched TV, ate, watched more TV, and ate more. He absolutely loved it. When I asked him why, he simply said, “Why not? I just felt like letting go of the world today and having some ‘ME’ time.” As he sat there munching on a McDonald’s double cheeseburger and a large Pinkberry yogurt, my first instinct was to judge him. My initial thoughts centered around how lazy someone who sat in their Pjs all day must be, and how disgusting his food combination was. But then I realized what a profound impact his day of gluttony had on me. 
As I wrote at the end of last year, my primary resolution for this year is to slow down. This doesn’t necessarily mean I want to stop any of my activities or lose my energy. I simply mean that I want to take more time to “think” rather than just “act” and spend more time relaxing and decompressing. It sounds counterintuitive, but it was suggested to me that I “schedule” time to myself by blocking out an hour or so each day for “me” time. I tried this a few times in the past, but always “rescheduled” my appointment with myself. I realized that I wasn’t valuing myself and my time in the same way I value time I give to others. This made me think about how important it is to take care of myself, too.
Last week I cried. I was driving my car and I broke down and let it all out. I had to pull over and park for a few minutes because I was so overcome by emotion (once I started the car again I must have looked cracked-out wearing my sunglasses at 8:30 at night). I usually only cry when I see a sweet commercial or bittersweet scene in a movie. But when I cried this time, it was provoked by my own internal emotions and letting my internal baggage go.
And that was it! I need to let go. By letting go, I will be able to achieve my wish of slowing down and taking more time to see, hear, and think. I realize that I have a need to control everything in my life and that has affected my relationships, work, and personal happiness. By control, I don’t necessarily mean I have a dictator complex (although I’ve had those moments), but it seems I always need to know what is going on in my world and have a part in what is going to happen next. But I am learning that I can not always control what is going to happen next.
This realization has been important to me and my mind has felt a bit more at peace over the last couple of days. I am not quite sure what will come of all of this, but I do know that there are going to be a few “ME” days in the near future. My house is where I can be me and I am going to spend more time in it.
I got a little deep in this column, but I think I’m finding something. Stick with me as I explore… maybe you will find out something about yourself, too. I think I’m going to go eat a cheeseburger.