Today was the first weekday since we returned from vacation. While Mary went back to work, I did the things I needed to do, little of which involved making money. Picking up the car at the shop, a physical therapy session, shopping, banking, making copies, seeing a friend, walking the dog, making dinner---the day was full.
Despite the fullness of the day, nagging voices in my head questioned my motives and my commitments. Why didn't I do more? Why wasn't I more productive? What more could be done?
A few hours with a dear friend who lives at a Buddhist retreat center helped to quell those voices. My friend reminded me that I only stopped working full-time three months ago after twelve years of working forty hours a week. When I consider twelve years of work in one hand and three months of my current state of being in the other, I'm reminded (by myself and others---including my gracious wife) that I need to cut myself some slack.
This culture demands such productiveness from us, so much so that it can be one's undoing. There is little time or space for simply being, and simply being is a notion---and a practice---that it would behoove me to cultivate.