This past New Years Day, Jaimie and I drove up to Brasstown, a little resort tucked away in the North Georgia mountains. They had this insane deal on Travelzoo, and I bought three nights for $69 dollars each. And since we got there on the first, once everyone was headed back to work, we had the place to ourselves! That’s one of the joys of being a freelance writer. Other people can have their insurance benefits and 401K plans, I have hotels to myself on my two days of vacation each year.
It was a lovely place. There was a heated pool and a hot tub overlooking the mountain. There was a bar that had yummy southwestern egg rolls and darts. There was a steam room and a sauna.
Side bar- am I the only only who who can't go into a sauna without the fear of getting locked in? Seriously, the second I pour the water on those hot rocks, I picture someone coming up and blocking the door. It’s really cruel because they’re leaving me to die in a luxurious setting. I feel like Icarus… being locked in a sauna for flying too close to the sun…
The purpose of going to Brasstown was to unwind. Jaimie’s job had been stressing her out and she needed some time away. My only problem is that I am not good at unwinding, and that weekend was no different.
Of course, I started getting sick the week after we came back and two months after we left Brasstown I was rushed into emergency surgery. Having known then what I know now, I would have savored those three days even more. Hell, I might have locked that sauna door myself.
One of my life’s goals is to be where my feet are. I have the tendency to live in the future. Just out there thinking about things that are to come. Like when you’re at a Mexican restaurant eating the first basket of chips but the whole time you’re thinking about the second one. Or when you're eating the first slice of pizza thinking about the third? That’s my life. Part of my brain is like, “Enjoy these chips that are in front of you.” And the other half is like, “I’ll stuff my face with these and then the next ones I’ll savor and enjoy. Yeah. That’s the ticket!”
But no, I’m always so “busy.” I put busy in quotation marks because I make myself busy so I can feel like everything is ok. So I can feel like I have a purpose. I do it even when my only purpose is to relax. Like in Brasstown, my one job was to kick back and there I was strategizing about the future in front of the Christmas tree and giant fire place. A future, I might add, that bears no resemblance to the actual life I am living now.
And this past weekend, when I had chemo brain, I was trying to keep up. I was trying to write, see family, set up meetings, go grocery shopping. I worked out I went to the pool I followed baseball I read poetry- all the while, my brain is like, “Can we chill the fuck out!” And I’m like, “No! I’ve got things to do before someone locks me into this sauna!”
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I don’t think I’m unique in my inability to just relax. To just do nothing. To just be where my feet are and take the future as it comes. Maybe that’s the problem with our whole society. Not that we’re lazy, it’s that we’re too busy thinking about futures that might not exist; all the while, we’re letting the life that is actually happening pass us by as we wait for our salsa to get refilled.
All I know is that next time I don’t feel well, I’m going to work a lot harder at doing nothing.
Work a lot harder at doing nothing… yeah… that’s the ticket…