Tag Archives: relax

I don’t understand…

A short rant…

I don’t understand America’s obsession with work. Why it’s generally frowned upon to take time off (especially if it’s over a week). For some reason people take it as if you don’t care. That you’re not truly committed to the job. The you’re just creating a burden for your coworkers.

I understand that some people are infatuated with their job. The rare and few that live to work. But – that’s it – they are rare and few. For the rest of us, it is more like we work to live.

We spend a good chunk of our lives working. And while the working looks different for everyone (on  your feet, at a desk, at home, on the phone, etc.), we all deserve time off. And I’m not just talking about the weekend or a work-cation. Actual, bona-fide time off. Like an entire week. Maybe even a month. No calls. No texts. No emails.

But for some reason, this is seen as absurd. A negative light is shown on getting away. You should always be available for your job, no matter what you are doing that day.

That logic is backwards. We need to start shedding this workaholic culture. Time off is vitally important to the employee. It allows for a mental refocus and relaxation. Time to spend on one’s personal well being (both inward and outward). After, you are recharged and thinking more on point than before.

Not only does it help the employee, it helps your employer too. The employee comes back with new energy and a brightness in place of the dull. Profitability increase and new ideas run over.

But that’s not what we get. Instead, we have time off. Loads of it. But we never have any time to actually use it. It’s so sad how common that is. Then there are those that do take some time, but they still check their emails every morning. Even with a sunrise on the beach in front of them.

I realize everyone doesn’t fall into these categories. Maybe your in the middle or far right. Maybe you’re shaking your head and in complete disagreeal, puffing the word millenial. Who knows….

Either way, time off shouldn’t be a luxury. It’s something everyone should have. And, on equal importance, everyone should be able to actually use it.

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AFTERNOON NAP

There is a boredom
hung in the air
on a hot afternoon.
One of those days that
has a busy mind circling
in a neurotic frenzy of
“What to do?”

I can’t seem to even summon
the energy to move.
The flutter of the leaves
out the window
and the hum of air
seeping through the ducts
seems to be enough.

Part of me continues to trudge.
There is a list,
you see,
and it is not done.

And the other part shrugs
and continues to keep me down,
letting the quiet of the house
and the soft breathe of sleeping dogs
be the only sound.

The tone on the living room walls
changes as the clouds pass by.
My eyes dim with them
slowly fluttering
as the disgruntled part of my mind
gives up
and every sense shuts.

IRON AND WINE – Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat

So, I know it has been a while – both for me and a music review. But, you know, life happens. And lately, life has been crazy. New, old, unstable, unrelenting, busy life. I’ve been more stressed in the past few months than I have for the entire year.

And so, with all that anxiety in worrying about the past and future, I decided to pick a song that, I believe, is all about focusing on now.  “Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat” from Around the Well, is one of my favorites from Iron and Wine. Sam Beam is the man behind the name and has one of the most calming voices I have ever heard. One that I, frankly, cannot get enough of.

The acoustics in this song are simple and beautiful, repeating this flowing melody with sharper upper tones and a ghostly echo. Like so many Iron and Wine songs, there is an earthiness to the sound and an easiness that is both relaxing and familiar. There are no drums, no bass, and nothing fancy – just Sam’s voice, the guitar, and a woman’s voice backing vocals to enhance the wonder.

Sam starts in with the first set of verses and answers:

Talk of yesterday and she will show her
brothers photographed in calloused clothes.
Say tomorrow and she’ll say come find me,
on a beach and there will be no moon.

But say
today
and she will
kiss your face
and maybe
forgive.

Looking at this, many meanings can come forward from the lyrics dependent on a person’s history and life experiences. For me, right now, it is about today. The woman Sam talks about goes off on a sad nostalgia (photographed, calloused clothes) when asked about the past and when it comes to the future, it is dark and unknown (no moon). However, when you ask about the present and what is happening now, she is delighted.

The second verse continues this:

Talk of yesterday like bargain shoestring,
she will kick the car and find her friends.
Say tomorrow and then she’ll describe some
old communion cups and someone’s coat.

But say
today
and she may
look your way
and lead you
home.

When the past is mentioned, the woman is angered and begins to look for her friends.  To me that is a reaction to find comfort now in the people that surround you. When the tomorrow comes about, she diverges and reminisces on details that are not important in life. As if to say, why focus on things to come and not enjoy right now? I love how when today is the topic, she pays attention to the speaker and leads them home. She is so delighted to be in the moment with another person that she will share her home.

This song is a reminder to me to stop worrying about what happened yesterday, quit analyzing the probabilities of my futures, and just enjoy the now. Be present in the moment and live life.

Please take a listen to the song here .  I encourage you to then keep exploring Iron and Wine and bathe in Sam’s heart-wrenching sound.