God I miss my family... This Sunday was Fathers' Day back at home. My mum cooked a fancy dinner and they had the dogs over again for the weekend. I was looking for a card to send to dad but I was told that there is no such thing as Fathers' Day here in Slovakia. At least I could walk to the city centre on Sunday without having to watch happy families celebrating their dads all around.
Another lazy weekend. I used to hate them. I used to be stressed about what am I going to do during the weekend if I didn't have my plans clear by Wednesday. But when the weekend arrives and everybody's out of town and you're on your own and you just have to deal with it. Despite the stressing, down-shifting for weekends has never been a problem for me. Not here.
It's a sad thought for me that some people have to pay money in order to be taught how to calm down, let go of all work pressures or other worries and just enjoy the moment. Mindfulness they call it and it's a multi million dollar business. How to relax, a business! That's ridiculous. These people usually have stressful jobs and become obsessed with accomplishing something, anything. So their weekends have to be accomplishments as well; a dinner party with highly eccentric foods and obsessive cleaning, a visit to a trade fair to learn how to make your life "meaningful", and an expensive lunch in a trendy café from which they have to report to the social media throughout, or a chance to do some extra work in for the next week in case the boss might notice (don't worry, they won't). These things would all be fine for a person who actually enjoys them. But when they become a forced activity just for the sake of feeling accomplished... not healthy.
As a teenager I was really into planning. Whether it was the next day or 10 years ahead I had everything planned out. Thank goodness I realized quite quickly that things never go the way you have planned and thus learned not to plan... that much. Dreaming is a different thing. Like I dream that one day I can afford to buy an apartment on the Brighton coast line and a holiday villa from Northern Italy. But ever since I learned not to plan everything all the time I at the same time learned to live in the moment, which is what mindfulness is all about.
One super tip for all you mindfulness-people: colouring books! Simple, cheap and really gets you stuck into it. When you're colouring you're concentrating on staying inside the lines, thinking about what colour would be good for which part and all of a sudden you realize an hour has gone by and you've thought of nothing else.
I don't need any mindfulness instructor to tell me that the best way to shake off the work week on Friday evening is a glass of wine with friends or with the best TV shows in Finland. Depending on the weather I can either spend the weekend at home in bed or cleaning up or go for a walk to the parks or to the city centre. Going to the city centre is a whole project for me, but a project that I fully enjoy: It starts with choosing an outfit (something nice looking but comfortable) and doing my hair. In my bag I pack a magazine or a book and on the way I always find something nice to take pictures of. In the centre I choose a cafe with an armchair or a sofa available, order a chai latte and simply enjoy being alive and well.
Even though not being with your dad on Fathers' Day is a sad thing, it's hard to be gloomy on a day like last Sunday: summer came back to Bratislava! Stepping outside I got wrapped into this warmth and Sunshine. I so llllove it. I had to have a little walk around the Old Town because on days like that it is absolutely wonderful: colourful rooftops and wall decorations glittering in the sunlight and smiley people everywhere. Made me smile :)