Holiday weekends are tricky. At the beginning they seem to offer such an abundance of time!

My mental list of things to do in the house, garden, and business, not to mention with friends and family, always contains 100 times more things than any human could possibly do in three or four days, especially when “rest and relax” is at the top of the list.

Many nice things happened this Fourth of July weekend. There was a yoga class at Dowse’s Beach. We went to a friend’s birthday party and caught up with their young adult kids, whom we’ve known since birth. We marched with the kazoo band in the Barnstable Village Fourth of July Parade (great job, Peggy!)

 
Friends and college-aged kids came to visit. Ritual burgers were grilled, potato salad made, gin and tonics consumed, and we got our first corn of the season at Capabilities Farm. Somehow we also made 780 bars of soap and I did quarterly tax stuff. But there was so much more I expected to accomplish!

I’ve noticed that a lot of my stress comes from two aspects of my mind. One part sits around dreaming up Things to Do. (He/she is a creative type.) The other character, a total neurotic, attaches fiercely to these creations and nags me mercilessly about them.

When I sit down to meditate, it can be like having two restless, yakking relatives blocking my view while I’m trying to watch TV (or in this case, watch my breath). Hey! Could you guys move about six feet to the right? I’m trying to watch something here and you’re in the way. I’ll be done in about 20 minutes, okay?

Usually this pair nags me about mundane tasks that actually do need to be done at some point, but sometimes they get quite creative in their efforts to pull me out of myself. There’s the spiritual gambit: Wow! Your meditation is great today. Maybe we should sign up for Summer Kyolche at the Zen Center. Let’s go right now and look online to see what the dates are!

Or there’s the artistic approach, where they start composing lines of poetry that really must be written down immediately, or urging me to hurry up and finish so I can go organize my photos of Italy and post them on Facebook.

Impatiently, they tap their feet and check their watches, urging me to stop wasting time and DO SOMETHING!!! Come on! Let’s go! You’re running out of time!!!

I’ve adopted a little motto that helps at such times: You’ll never have enough time to do everything your mind can think up.