Every now and then (very rarely) – I find myself with a day off….that means nothing on the calendar – no meeting appointments, no conf calls, no traveling..just a big block of empty space on my schedule.  Those days usually come at a time when I least expect it – because I’m too busy dealing with day-to-day issues and work loads – that I wouldn’t notice a free day coming until it actually arrived…its that one Saturday morning when I wake up – check my blackberry and realize – I have NOTHING to do…. nowhere to go – and no one I have to see…And then – panic sets in.

I know…you’ve been there too…

Thankfully, those days of going into panic mode are slowly fading away.  There was a time where I would get myself worked up for hours, only to find the day flew by and I spent most of it anxiously wondering if I was forgetting to do something…OR I would literally feel GUILTY for having time to myself.  Imagine that…

Those times are NO MORE!!!  Over the years, I’ve come to realize that when I have a day with nothing to do – that’s exactly what I chose to do – nothing!  There is always some thing that can fill our time or there are errands we can run….our lives is a continual to-do-list.  But the moments when we aren’t on deadline or don’t have the pressures of projects or must-attend meetings or being away on travel – we should welcome those down times and use them to (in the words of my girl Whitley from A Different World) – RELAX…RELATE….RELEASE!  And that can mean different things to different people.

For me – it usually means laying in bed all day – flipping thru channels or clearing out space on my DVR.  Occasionally I may pick up a book or try to get thru some of my magazine piles…that’s pretty much it. When I’m really feeling jazzy – I may decide to use that time to try out new recipes since I love to cook…but then again, if that requires me cleaning the kitchen – I may just pass that up and place an order for pizza delivery for the night.

We operate in a society where the green light is always on…its always GO with a rare chance to STOP.  As I’ve gotten older – I have become more and more accepting of the idea…The whole – relaxing, relating and releasing idea.  I refuse to allow myself to be worked up into a frenzy because I suddenly have time on my hands.  As a matter of fact – I start looking for those days and pin pointing those moments so I can look forward to do absolutely nothing.  I have come to accept that I am not just WASTING time – I am ENJOYING time – to myself and for myself.

Back in ’91 when I was in high school – I remember seeing the episode with the memorable “relax, relate, release” line….it stuck with me for the past 20 years…so the next time you find yourself in a need to work out of that frenzy – click on the link below and around the 1:59 mark – you can chant along with Whitley + Debbie Allen…RELAX, RELATE, RELEASEEEEE!