Sometimes you have to stop and smell the… artichoke blossom.

Bumble bee on an artichoke blossom.

It’s really easy to get wrapped up in starting a new chapter of one’s life. In America, we are all raised with the value that it is virtuous to be goal-oriented and be successful at a career, raising a family, and accumulating wealth, to name a few. We see the “somebodies” of the world as those with fancy job titles, nice houses, well-mannered and smart kids, and so on. We brag among ourselves when we work overtime, or crank out a glut of billable hours. We all watch in amazement as super-mom juggles a career with managing the home, and her make-up even looks perfect! We covet those rare days where we can just relax and do nothing productive.

We shame each other when someone actually takes a day to do nothing productive!

“Pfffft…must be nice to have all that free time!” We say, sarcastically. “I can’t remember the last time I had a day off!” We continue, condescendingly.

It’s no wonder so many of us feel burned out…All. The. Time.

Ed and I are both driven people, and the guilt sets in fast if either one of us does something for the sole benefit of himself or herself. We are trying to be more intentional with taking days here and there to just kick back, relax, and not feel guilty about it. I have to remind myself–almost everyday–that we are embarking on a journey, not a race, and taking a slower pace is necessary to prevent burn-out.

I have found I need to make it a point to take at least one day per week to do nothing related to preparation for boat life. Sometimes we do something fun with kids, go wine tasting, work in my garden, or just watch the clouds go by. I am especially trying to enjoy every drop of my garden this summer because gardening on a boat is not really a thing. It’s probably the biggest thing I’ll miss being able to do once we’re settled in on the boat.

I suppose part of our preparation means learning new and healthier habits. Instead of burning the candle from both ends–which I am very talented at–I need to learn how to live a life at a different, slower pace.

Even the busy bees take breaks and enjoy a flower blossom.

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