As Americans, we’re often ridiculed for not knowing how to relax. I could easily be classified under this stereotype every day of my life. Although I inherited many attributes from my European ancestors, who reign in this world as championed relaxers sometimes taking up to 25 vacation days a year, I am unable to grasp the Italian attitude toward free time.
Dark hair? Check. Olive skin? Check. Take a breather every once and a while? How do you do that?
What typically happens, and you may know the feeling, is even though I’m in a relaxing environment, away from my office and not discussing professional matters, my mind can’t seem to escape work or errands at home. As shameful as it is to admit, I find myself getting so tied up in the little things, life seems to be speeding on by. When I begin to look back at the big picture, everything has blurred together.
It’s almost like those clever photo mosaics that were big in the 90’s. My tiny photos would be glimpses into a weekend party, a music festival, or outdoor activities. But in this case, when they’re all put together, the big portrait is me working, cleaning, cooking, etc. Is this all too familiar for you as well? I hope not but if so, I might have found an easy solution.
I recently started to take notice of this more so than usual and discovered something rather peculiar. Of the occasions that I do feel most relaxed, work free and careless about where my mind wanders, 99% of those times occur in Kutztown. It might even be safe for me to say that they all occur in my pleasant home town, a location peacefully comprised of rolling farm hills and quiet streets.
Since I no longer reside in Kutztown, but do visit on a regular basis, I’ve come to appreciate more than ever the many offerings it has, including a haven for my wandering work thoughts. There are elements to the most agreeable town that play well together, as if by accident, to create a natural worry free environment that’s slow paced. Outsiders may translate that to mean boring and I respect their opinion but kindly ask for a re-survey. It’s that attitude of always needing “something to do” that led me down my thought-cluttered path in the first place.
Not to say there isn’t anything to do in Kutztown. There are unique events year round, one of a kind independent vendors on Main Street and ongoing activities with the University as well. However, sometimes the only thing you should be doing is nothing at all. That’s the beauty of Kutztown. It has the perfect balance of both so when you’re feeling antsy, you can get out and do but when you need peaceful time, free from everything including your thoughts, that’s also achievable in a multitude of places. Try the park, a local cafe or the Main Street Inn’s terrace?
You may be able to relate if you’ve ever gone on a vacation that involved an unofficial itinerary. Go here, go there. See that, see this. It’s more exhausting than it is relaxing. The solution? Vacation to Kutztown! Maybe you just chuckled but I’d recommend a reconsider. When that feeling of simplicity and relaxation finds you, I’m sure you won’t be laughing anymore. Just dishing out deeps sighs of relief.
Until Next Time,