I am in the waning hours of a a rare but wonderful time at home with my family and away from my office. Though I’ve checked my email in-box daily for any emergency info, I’ve definitely allowed myself to slip into a slower, more relaxed mode in which to enjoy the holidays.
Slowing down and disengaging is not always easy for me. In the three months prior to this holiday break I’ve travled over 50,000 miles by plane, boat, car, train, taxi and on foot; attended dozens of meetings and been in face to face meetings with more people than I can count. All the trips and meetings require some level of follow-up communication, reflection and/or contact. Just listing all of that elevatates my heart rate a bit. Back to my topic–stretchy pants.
Some time early in this hiatus of travel Patty and Erika suggested we have a relaxed evening at home. As part of the invitation they said; “let’s don’t dress up let’s just put on our pajamas or stretchy pants and chill.” Thats it, thats the signal that started this real slow-down. I’m not sure what other people mean by comfortable-casual but to me the thought turned immediately to those pair of plaid, flannel, elastic-waistband with a tie in the front ‘stretchy pants’ that were hidden away in the back drawer of my bedroom. They only see the light of day on extremely cold nights, or most commonly, around the Christmas holidays. I was surprised what just the reminder of these pants did for my attitude. I went immediately to dig them out and put them on. My enthsuiasm was only slightly chilled by noting they were not quite as loose-fitting as I remembered them. Let the holidays begin!
On Christmas morning, all three of my sons, my two daughters-in-law, my grandsons, Patty and myself gathered at Jeremy’s to exchange Christmas gifts and, later in the day, a huge Christmas turkey. One of my gifts was a box containing TWO pairs of new and improved stretchy pants. I immediately excused myself to go put them on. I’ve only taken them off to change, bath or, on Sunday, to go to church.
It’s early in this new year and I’m reviewing a book about “Keystone Habits” that affect behavior in multiple areas. Among my plans for altered behavior this year is to keep my stretchy pants close and to wear them more often. What slows you down or otherwise allows you to relax?