The other day I was walking downtown with a friend, drinking a cup of Port City Java. He asked me a very direct question, “Are you making time in your schedule to have fun?”
“Why do you ask?” I replied.
He responded with, “You just seem a little on-edge today and that’s not like you.”
I thought for a second and said, “You know, if I just had a new Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic I believe I could relieve some of that stress!”
We both chuckled a bit and agreed that acquiring a new Harley would certainly take care of our need for stress release. We were also in agreement that even a Harley wouldn’t relieve the stress of being served divorce papers for buying a $22,000 motorcycle.
My friend challenged me to be sure I was making time to have fun. Notice he said, “making time.” You’ve got to intentionally carve out time in your schedule for fun! Working hard is good, but you need to balance that withTaking It Easy every once in a while.
So, that night I took my family to the snack bar in Target and we had popcorn, pretzels and Icees; something that was always fun when I was a child. We had such a relaxing time, just sitting around the table, spilling pop-corn, licking pretzel salt, and looking at each others’ blue and red stained tongues.
I’m a driven person and I like to work hard. Because I love my line of work, at times I have a tendency to overdo it a bit. I can get so wrapped up in working toward meeting goals and deadlines that I forget to make time to relax. My two children have a saying they’ve picked up from school. When things get tense around the house they say, “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chill-ax!” No matter what the situation is, this phrase always makes me smile.
Recently, I met an older couple who were engaged to be married, Don and Elyse. When they found out I was a minister they asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. As we were getting to know one another I asked where they were from. Elyse told me she was originally from Winslow, Arizona.
I chuckled a bit and said, “The only thing I know about Winslow, Arizona is the mentioning of it in the song Take It Easy, by The Eagles.”
“Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my lord in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.”
Elyse got very excited and told me that her father was the inspiration for that particular verse of the song. Take It Easy was originally written by Jackson Browne. Browne was struggling with its completion, so he gave it to his good friend, vocalist and guitarist for The Eagles, Glen Frey. Frey had spent the night in Winslow and acquired a picture postcard of a man standing on the corner with his foot propped up on a lamppost. That man was Elyse’s dad.
She brought me a copy of the original picture; it’s the photograph at the top of this page. That picture was obviously taken back in the “Old Days” when life moved at a much slower pace than it does now.
Take It Easy is one of my favorite songs by The Eagles. I can remember so vividly being 16, cruising around town in my mom’s 1978 MGB convertible, top down, stereo blaring, enjoying every measure of this “made for open road” song. The message of Browne and Frey’s song fit so perfectly with the adolescent days of my youth.
“Take it easy, take it easy. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.”
Thinking back to the days of high school conjures up memories of a life that was much easier. My only responsibilities then were to do my school-work, help out at home, and work part-time bussing tables at a local restaurant. I miss the simplicity of those days! I don’t miss the confusion and cloudiness of adolescence, I just miss a time in my life when responsibilities were minimal.
Louise J. Kaplain once said, “Adolescence is a time of active deconstruction, construction, reconstruction—a period in which past, present, and future are rewoven and strung together on the threads of fantasies and wishes that do not necessarily follow the laws of linear chronology.”
How many times did your parents say things like, “You have no idea how good you’ve got it!”
“Just wait till you have a family of your own one day!”
“If you don’t eat your peas you’ll never get hair on your chest!” (Okay, that’s from a completely different memory!)
If I only knew then what I know now (I probably wouldn’t have eaten so many peas!)
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life now. It’s amazing! I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, responsibilities and all. But in the midst of all the weight and responsibility of adulthood, I’ve still got to find time to Take It Easy once in a while.
Jackson Browne was struggling with finishing a song aboutTaking It Easy. It’s ironic; Browne was stressed out over writing a song about not being stressed out. So, what did he do? He got a friend, Glen Frey, to help him Take It Easy. It took a friend to help me Take It Easy, too.
What’s the fun quotient in your life? When’s the last time you carved out a chunk of time in your schedule to justTake It Easy? Even God takes a break. The Scriptures tell us that after He made the Heavens and the Earth, he took a day to rest; it’s called Sabbath.
If God needs a day to rest, you do to. So come on, turn off your phone, shut down the computer, and take a break. Have some fun already! Take the advice of my two children and, “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chillax!”
So, here’s your challenge: GO DO SOMETHING FUN AND RELAX. After you’ve done so, come back to my Blog, add a comment, and tell me what you’ve done. Let’s inspire one another as we carve out some time to Take It Easy!
I think that it’s pretty cool that you and your family had fun just from hanging out at Target. Just the simple things is all we need most of the time. I know I spent many hours a week in Target before I moved here, just relaxing and getting my thoughts together, especially after a long day. Target’s Food Avenue, was my cafe. For the most part, that was my place of refuge, only a few blocks from my apartment. I spent so much time in that place, I even wrote a song about it.
I’m bout to roll up to this Target/ see a handicap spot and park it/ bout to roll up to this Target, Target/…that’s just the hook.
But great point, God trully did set an example of rest for us. That makes me thanks of Jesus, and how he always broke away to be alone and relax, especially after being overwhelmed by massive crowds.
Keep it up, Love ya bro
Friday, October 3, 2008 – 01:15 AM
Take It Easy, I am self employed doing boat repair and building boats, the stress of employees, the public ,and all the unforseen problems is sometimes overwhelming.On October 2, I turned 49, rather than the typical Birthday Party, I wanted something SPECIAL.My Wife (Debbie) and I had signed up for a mission trip to Waveland MS. It happened to fall on the week of my Birthday,I really felt lead to do this,But man did I encounter problems,,going on a mission trip will balance you out,Really let you know just how blessed you are.From a Death in my family to money problems,you name it satan used it. I went anyway. When you see someone break down in tears, thanking you, over and over,for repairing a home,kids excited because they have a stove now,Think for a moment, This was a big deal to them would it be to us? Our group was the last to leave, it was hard,but they had helped us more than we helped them,Try a mission trip words cannot describe. So on our trip home we were going to TAKE IT EASY,When I started home on the 14 hour drive I was reflecting on our work and our new freinds we had made.I thought to myself why would they stay there?Why rebuild?GOD decided to answer that for me,Next on the song radio was ANYWAY by MARTINA McBRIDE,I listened to the lyrics……You can spend your whole life building something from nothin One storm can come and blow it away build it anyway, 3rd verse was God is Great, But sometimes life ain’t good and when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should,But do it anyway.The next song that came on was I saw GOD today by George Strait, By that time I was toast,Had to slow down ,nose running eyes all watered up, But thats what we need to do make time to TAKE IT EASY,Slow Down, Life goes by fast Make time to have some fun,laugh and fellowship it’s the best therapy you can get.
Sunday, October 5, 2008 – 05:17 PM
“You know, if I just had a new Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic I believe I could relieve some of that stress!”
I don’t know Danny, maybe you need to take the chance. She loves you right. She won’t divorce you. You tell her I said you need it. You deserve it. Your a hard worker. It’s you. Your the man of the house you wear the pants in the family.Come on it’s a HARLEY and she would only stay mad for a little while. Go ahead take the plunge, buy the thing.
Oh and after you get it can I borrow it, Wendy say’s I cant have one ether. I will admit she wears the pants in my family, but I CONTROL THE ZIPPER. Yea. Don’t tell her I said that, she’ll be mad. Keep it quite ok.
Thanks buddy I will fill’er up when I’m done.
Thursday, October 9, 2008 – 08:38 PM
We have mutual friend’s Ralph and Sue Bishop. Sue turned me on to your site. Sue and Ralph both were in my wedding some twenty years ago. My Wife and I, Ralph and sue all attended the same school in New York.
The story “Take It Easy” seemed to hit close to home with me I have had a couple of Harleys and they do relive stress, sometimes. When your wife wants a divorce and you love here it won’t cut it.
My wife has this job that is so demanding she talks about it in here sleep. She works all the time never having time for anything important of course that is subjective. What is important? Well I don’t think a job is so important that you neglect those that love you. When you are on your deathbed do you think anyone will care how many hours you put in at the office?
My Wife has a Degree in Finance and Economics and she is very sought after. I have a degree in Art and have a hard time eking out an existence. I have many skills I ‘am also a veteran some times I make good money sometimes I don’t. Lately I haven’t, so she feels like she has more burden on her. She controls all the money and I really live frugally when I have to. So much is just a perception issue; she sees it differently than I do. The reality is the same, we are both guilty of being to consumed with our own plight and we too depressed to see each other’s pain. We got so we are at opposite ends of the spectrum on work and money
My wife is very driven and she is one of the smartest people I know but she and I have lost something that is true intimacy. We just were not talking any more, or just not listening. We have been in a rough patch financially for some time and it just adds to her urgency to work even harder. It is ruining our relationship. No Job is the same thing, just at the other end of the spectrum. Here is our dilemma how do we compromise and work through this (I sold My Springer Softail last week) My wife has filed for separation but she says she still loves me. I believe we can work through it but getting her to stop and breath has been a very hard thing to accomplish. I will do what ever I have to do to make right with her. I love her more than life it’s self. It hurts me to see her hurt.
I believe that the sound of her own wheels has driven us both a little crazy and I could use some help with getting her to lighten up while we still can. Funny we went through Winslow Arizona on our honeymoon. I just need to figure out how to get her to stop being so mad and over worked, so she can smell the coffee and not throw a beautiful relationship away for nothing. No infidelity, just anger and money issues any suggestions? I ‘am going to ask her to go to church with me this Sunday, I hope she says yes.
James F. Alderman
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 – 11:11 AM
Thanks so much for reading my blog. Most importantly, thanks for your transparent response. I will email you shortly.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 – 05:08 PM