Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. -Lin Yutang
Point To Ponder:
When was the last time you allowed yourself the pleasure of contentment with the necessity of rest?
If you feel you are unbalanced and experiencing the negative consequences of too much work and not enough play, find an opportunity to de-stress and enjoy the pleasures of something simple.
This weekend we celebrated Father’s Day by spending it with my dad. He and my step-mom live about five minutes off of I-35 in Belton, but their home sits quietly off of a gravel road, where it’s impossible to see or hear the busy highway or feel the stressors of life. Despite it being a holiday weekend, it’s likely we would have spent this time with them, as it is one of our favorite weekend getaways. Their home is surrounded by trees that were planted in honor of each grandchild- eight total – along with giant old Oak and Elm trees. In addition, they have a magical covered back patio which is surrounded by potted plants that my step-mom has grown and a muscular Pecan tree that is likely to be fifty years old. The patio is where we spend the majority of our time, as it’s on east side of the house and always has a cool breeze blowing through it. Miraculously, on even the hottest days we are able to enjoy being outside, while listening to the relaxing sounds of rustling leaves and chirping birds. In fact, at any given moment you can spot jackrabbits, road runners, a Doe and her spotted Fawn, butterflies and Painted Buntings and Cardinals. All of this, just like my father, embody the joy of a simple life.
Upon arriving on Friday, we headed to Cyclone BBQ for dinner, where things are really simple. If you haven’t heard of Cyclone, TX you are among the majority, as it’s a tiny town located eleven miles east of Temple. Believe it or not, the town was founded in 1883, and in 1904, the population spiked to 102 people. Now however, it has about fifty residents, a post office, a general store, and is known for it’s very casual, country and delicious family style BBQ restaurant called “Cyclone,” which is also off of a dirt road. So, as we entered the restaurant, we were instantly greeted by a warm grandmotherly woman who said, “Ya’ll come in and make yourself at home.” Her sweetness instantly brought a smile to my face and we did just that— we walked in and made ourselves at home by finding a table and ordering a cold beer.
As I checked out the super simple surroundings, I was amused by the uncomplicated business model. First, the building was not even enclosed. Rather it had a tin roof, concrete floors, cedar posts to support the ceiling and giant fans in the open wall areas. In addition, the teenage wait staff wore shorts and comical t-shirt that on the front read “Cyclone.” Then, the back read the word TOFU, with a big hazard sign marking through it. Next, a juke-box played non-stop country music and occasionally when the music ended, the wait-staff would select more. Finally, and what I found to be the most hysterical was sitting in the center of each table was a Parkay Butter squirt bottle for the homemade bread and corn on the cob. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I saw Parkay Butter. In addition and to put things into greater perspective, they do not take credit cards. It’s cash or personal check only!
Needless to say, the entire weekend, starting with dinner in Cyclone to spending countless hours on the patio with family, was quintessential. And, while I don’t consider my life to be high stress, I always feel my body, mind and spirit unwind when I am able to step away from the daily routine and enter the simple life.
All in all, I don’t think life can be without stress, but it can’t always be simple too. In fact, I think a little stress, in the right dosage is good for us, as it builds character and allows for growth to occur. However, where there is stress, there must also be the balance of rest. For example, 50% of muscle growth occurs when muscle fibers are torn down from strength training. However and equally as important is the other 50%, which is the repair of muscles fibers that takes place as a result of rest. Therefore, without both stress and the simplicity of rest, our muscles will not grow, and our life in general is no different.
In conclusion, if you feel you are exceeding the balanced 50% of stress in your life, it’s likely that you are experiencing overload which will only lead to burnout and a bad attitude- all things I can attest to. Therefore, find an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of rest and the simple life, even if it means something as unelaborate as joining friends for a night of bowling, going to a movie or getting out into the country for a simple BBQ weekend.
My favorite relaxation treat is a long yoga class or a movie at Alamo Drafthouse…What is yours? -Landry
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