Columnist: Hitting the pause button on life
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2016
If I were a TV remote, my control buttons would say “work,” “do,” “go” and “sleep.” “Pause” would not be a function button to press. RELAX or REST would not be on there either.
I must have been wired that way. It has always been difficult for me to relax. Even if I do, my mind is whirling around a mile a minute trying to find the remote button to switch to “do.” Often I feel guilty if I rest, thinking I really need to do something productive with every minute.
Well, every now and then the battery wears down and the remote doesn’t function. I actually think my energizer bunny might have hopped away.
It has been one of those summers chocked full of events. Visits from family, keeping my granddaughter for a while, the birth of two more grandchildren within six weeks of each other, and writing, writing and more writing.
All of the above was wonderful and I enjoyed every blissful moment. I was also trying to keep the gym visited, keep daily chores up and make things for holidays and birthdays. The remote was set on “do,” “go,” “run” and “sleep” mode all the time.
I retired a year ago, but I must have missed the chapter in the Retirement Manual on how to do it.
I am reminded of a Labor Day weekend long ago when I was, at the time, in my ninth month of pregnancy. My son was due mid-September. I had been looking forward to the last weekend of summer to laze by the apartment pool. There was the neighborhood cook out and I wouldn’t have to prepare much at all. Yes, it was going to be a great weekend.
My son, however, heard something about Labor Day and he decided that was what he was not supposed to miss. I went into labor and he was born that very weekend.
I would tell him later that he didn’t have to take the word “labor” so literally! Needless to say I did not get to laze around the pool.
My granddaughter’s good friend, Lia, has wonderful, generous parents. They live in Florida but own a home in the North Carolina mountains. They offered it to me one day saying they would love for us to use it.
On this Labor Day weekend my husband and I did just that. We drove the car up the winding roads, leaving the interstates behind. There were no more babies due, no more visitors coming, and I shut the computer down.
We arrived at our destination and to my great surprise, the only noise I heard was the rushing of a waterfall from the deck of this beautiful mountain retreat. Far away were the sounds of cars, the sounds of cell phones pinging and the sounds of TV remote buttons being pushed.
Off the back porch stood Whiteside Mountain that looked as if the marshmallow puffed clouds were reaching down to touch its peak. A bright blue sky canopied the landscape of lush green foliage as far as the eye could see.
It was then I knew I needed to find and push the “pause” button. I breathed in the cool air as if to cleanse my soul. I stopped to look at the beauty of nature and appreciate it.
In the evening David and I went to dinner and sat at a private table overlooking a rolling grass lawn dotted with mountain laurel and trees. Somehow food taste better when you take a moment to think about how special a moment is. It was nice to be with my husband that knew I needed a rest and an “undo.” Actually, he probably needed it more than I.
God says, “Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I forget that all the time, but it is so important to remember to do. To stop and enjoy His wonderful creation of earth; to pause, to rest, to restore not only our bodies, but our minds and our souls.
I love to play golf. I have not played well or much lately. I really had forgotten how much I do love it.
We went to a hilly, public course and I leisurely played one of the best rounds I have ever played. I laughed at my good fortune and remembered that, yes, I could have fun and not feel guilty.
On our way back from the golf course we detoured and we got a bit lost. While searching for our way home we saw a black bear cub running to his mama, a huge Christmas tree farm, and another mountain where the setting sun was turning its boulders pink.
I don’t think we passed another car. The solitude and quiet gave pause to endless acres of untamed land.
To push your “pause” button, even for a short while, so that you can feel the beauty of life and the magic of nature is a much needed feature on everyone’s remote.
Our “pause” button was reset to “do” again in a mere 48 hours. My son’s birthday is tomorrow, and I think in the distance I see the bunny hopping back home.
However, I think now I might put his energy in a new remote offering a few more buttons!