Sep 20, 2010

Being Content

By: Amy Atlas, in Ask Amy

I’ve had some time off with the Jewish holidays and it has given me an opportunity to reflect (no, I was not on the beach in the above picture, although it does look pretty dreamy).  I was away from the computer, blackberry, iphone, texting, etc. for a few days and it allowed me to actually enjoy my time off from work.  This is not so easy for me. I’ve always had enormous drive.  Actually, my family has always called it hunger.  If you are one of those people, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Lots of things have shaped me to be this way (my childhood/I’m sure I’m wired this way, etc.).  It is hard to shut off.   I get restless during the few moments I am not crazed.  But there is a point when it makes sense to reflect and think…how much is enough to be content?  At what point is it okay to take a break, slow down, and enjoy it all?  Both my husband and my brother, who keep me in check, have posed this question several times to me.  For a long time, that question seemed like foreign language to me.  But lately, I’m appreciating each and every thing that comes my way in a new light and I have to say, I’m feeling content.  I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me over the last few years and I’m so thankful for it. Taking a break from my computer definitely helped me to recognize this. Everyone needs to decompress and take everything in once in a while.  So I ask you all…what do you do to decompress?  What tips do you all have to take a moment and enjoy it all? For me, it was completely removing myself from technology for a few days, but I’d love to hear all your tips.

PS – I’ll be answering some of your Ask Amy questions in my next vlog.  Send over your questions to [email protected] and I’ll randomly pick a few questions to answer so hurry in and get them over!

PPS – R & J – this post was for both of you! xo

Also, the winner of the Bakerella giveaway is Tiffany Cook!  We will be in touch so we can get the awesome Cake Pops Book over to you!

Image above via Google Images.

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  • Amy, I run to decompress. Yesterday, I ran 18 miles, the longest that I have ever run in my life. Next stop – a marathon!

  • I have to agree – separating myself from technology is a huge escape. Also, I like to spend time outside and having quality time with my friends & family is a must. Being outside is refreshing and it makes you remember to stop and smell the roses. Time with important people reminds you of what’s truly important in life.


  • Can you please bottle up some of that contentment and send it my way? I’m a crazy lunatic.

  • To decompress, I have to step away from technology (SO TOUGH) and spend a few moments with my two little ones. I know they will grow up too fast, and spending even a few moments playing “ring around the rosie” makes me smile and relax! I am glad you had a great weekend!

  • For me to decompress, I bake. I’ve lately found a love in baking bread and pounding out my frustrations on the dough during kneading.

  • A few weeks back, I went on a “media fast”, and completely unplugged myself from TV, books, blogs and Twitter. The open space in my life allowed for clearer thinking, more time with my husband, and some really quiet, peaceful mornings with a cup of tea at the kitchen table (instead of a quick breakfast at the computer while reading blogs and catching up on Twitter). When it was all said and done, I realized how much I DIDN’T miss the constant noise in my life. I realized that unplugging is a very healthy habit, and I’ve since made an effort to spend more time doing REAL things I love with those that matter most to me. I try to pause each day and do something that matters… to me, or to someone I love. Those little moments shine in my memory, and make me realize that my crazy, driven, go-getting personality can take a backseat every once in awhile!

  • I appreciate how our religious beliefs give us some impetus for stepping back. Running, holding my baby and reading to my bigger kids, curling up on the couch with a great book…these things help me so much in my creative process. I find that if I take time to decompress, the ideas flow easier and more fluently than if I keep charging forward. It feels great to step away.

  • I travel. Travel is my passion, and there is nothing I would rather do than see & experience a foreign city with my husband in my time off.

  • When I need to decompress I go to a very familiar place, the mountains of North Carolina. I was 3 weeks old on my first trip to “the mountains.” I love to eat dinner at new restaurants, see the sights of a new city when on vacation, but I usually return tired and need a vacation from my vacation. I finally figured out that only a familiar place is how I can actually retreat, rest and return uplifted. Otherwise, I will spend my time finding things to do. My decompression agenda in the mountains usually involves 5 or 6 books, planning the next homemade meal and wine on the porch.

  • Aubrey

    I like to have days without plans. My favorite way to spend relaxing days are to go with the flow. If I want to watch a movie with the hubby, jump on the tramp, walk through downtown, or sit down and read a book, I can because it doesn’t interfere with anything in my day.

  • My way to decompress is to go to the beach. The ocean is just so majestic and almighty. Even during a storm to look out and see that everything has been wiped clean on the sand is relaxing.

  • Thanks so much Amy! I am ecstatic about the Cake Pop Book. Love your cute website, and keep up the cute design tables : )

  • It’s so hard for me to shut off and decompress but I feel that when I am able to, I feel so much more rested & ready to conquer the world. Best way for me to decompress is to walk or bike with friends or my husband. Enjoying the beautiful place we live and taking it all in.

  • Amy: I pray and sit out on the porch every morning for 15 minutes.

  • I can totally relate to the overworking addiction. I have a hard time relaxing and shutting of my brain when I know there’s a lot of work to be done. I too find staying away from the computer and Blackberry can help. I also try to jog or do yoga a few times a week (when time permits) to clear my mind. It’s hard to find the balance when you’re a workaholic but I’m getting there 🙂

  • My response got too long! eeep! Thanks for the inspiration and reminder:

  • Kristi

    I would love to be entered in the Kitchen Aid Giveaway but I cannot find where to enter. I will be making Pumplin Bread along with lots of candy! Merry Christmas everyone!