Guilty Relaxation


Here we are: the end of the school holidays. As I work in a school, I’m just as nervous and unhappy about going back as the students are. Not because I don’t like my job – to the contrary I love my job – but because I won’t be home relaxing anymore, and no matter how much you love your job, relaxing is always better. Isn’t it?

Well … here lies the problem, because I cannot relax without feeling guilty. I always feel as though I should be doing something. Now sometimes my guilty feeling when relaxing makes sense. Perhaps the house is a tip, the dog has his legs crossed and I haven’t started on the “To do List” of half a million little admin tasks I leave for the holidays.  Then I am in the “dark playground” as Professor Steve Peters calls it in his book “Mind Management”. (It’s on my “To do List” to finish reading.) The dark playground is when you cannot completely enjoy your relaxation time because there’s that nagging voice constantly in the back of your mind that you have other things you ought to be working on.

My problem is that that nagging voice is a complete and utter liar! Even when my house is shining spotlessly, the cupboards are full, no children are at risk of losing teeth, the dog’s chasing rabbits in his sleep, still that voice grinds on “shouldn’t you be doing something?”

“oh yes, perhaps you’re right. What should I be doing?”

“that thing”

“what thing”

“you know – that thing”

“no what thing? I’m sure you’re right but I can’t think what it is”

“I’m not going to tell you – you’ll have to work it out for yourself”

“it can’t be that important if I can’t remember it”

“but it might be”

“it’s not”

“well I’m not going to let you relax until you remember that thing and do it”

Then I start making things up to do and make a new list of “things” just to silence that nagging grinding voice!

Why is that? Why can’t I just relax? I like to blame my dad at this point. Or the government. But I can’t really. I think it’s just a habit. I’m always so busy that when I do find time to relax, it feels odd – doesn’t fit with my normal state so I get jittery and look to return to my normal state of frantic worry. I’m far happier there!

This is why I’m typing this blog at this time of night when I should be getting an early night ready to go back to school in the morning. I’ve been off work for more than a fortnight and not blogged. I feel guilty. As though there’s anyone out there, saying “that Rachel Coverdale hasn’t blogged for a while. I feel totally let down by her and my life is now ruined. It’s all her fault”. Well there you are imaginary person. I’ve blogged just for you.

So, job done, my intention now is to go to bed and have a peaceful night’s sleep. Who am I trying to kid? That annoying, grinding little voice is going to tell me that I MUST remember to do that thing as soon as I get to work tomorrow and I’ll lie awake all night wondering what that thing is and worrying that the school will be razed to the ground if I don’t remember what it is and get it done in time.

G’night all xx



2 thoughts on “Guilty Relaxation”

  1. I definitely can relate to not being able to relax without feeling guilty. It hard to remember but it so important to take time for ourselves, and it will only help us be more productive in other areas of life. Wish you the best – speak766

    Liked by 1 person

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