This I Believe

Gavin - Walnut Creek, California
Entered on December 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, pleasure

The feeling of being overworked is a feeling so powerful it’s almost physical, like some noisome ooze permeating your body from top to bottom, creating an ache in your back and a depression in your mind. I believe in the necessity of the purging of such a poisonous feeling from one’s body. The toxin of overwork can be removed from one’s mind and soul in only one simple and logical way: a break. I believe in the power of a good break.

I am not necessarily talking about a vacation, or even walking down to the café at a time during lunch break. You don’t even have to go somewhere to take a break. A break is as much mental as it is physical, and the mental aspect is what one enjoys the most.

To take a mental break, I generally just sit back from what I’m doing and try to notice things around me that I normally don’t. I suppose this could be called “spacing out” but it’s not exactly, as I retain general consciousness of my surroundings and even gain a higher awareness of my environment. I notice how beautiful the landscape is and also the general vibes and feelings of the people around me. During these placid moments, I have strolled around my high school campus, listening to music. The music filters out all other noise, and I am able to see things through just the motions and feelings.

I notice the vast majority of the people that walk by me during the day are generally unaware of the environment around them and show little desire to become aware of it. I almost never see someone looking up or off to the horizon. I try to be that person. I try not to be so immersed in my own personal bubble, and I work to appreciate my surroundings. A true break is doing that. A true break is forgetting all necessities and cravings, and taking a step back to admire the world for what it is.

In fact, such breaks can be as short as a glance over one’s shoulder, yet still provide so much relief to an exhausted soul. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was driving to school, and I looked over my shoulder to change lanes, and I happened to see the sun shining over the top of a mist-enshrouded mountain. At that moment I felt a tingling sensation run down my back and warmth permeate my body. This brief mental break invigorated me for the rest of the day and helped me find hope in the new day.

One unfortunately cannot have these breaks all the time, as one needs to participate in the monotonous, draining, drudgery of life’s necessities, which, although at times boring, depressing, and even heart-breaking, are critical for life. I simply try to remember that taking some quick mental breaks can soothe all the pain accumulated in a long day.