Fill up your plate with side orders of peace and relaxation

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readJul 24, 2022
Waking up to this on cool and early summer mornings seems like heaven. Photo by Megan Lee on Unsplash.

I’m going on vacation next week. It’s been a good while since I took time off from work. People keep saying that I should “unplug” and get “disconnected.” They say phrases like you should “get away” and spend time “alone.”

I’ve always been interested in phrases and what people say. How we express ourselves, our way of communication comes from somewhere. Most people are well-intentioned. “I just want the best for you” is another one of those sayings that you hear often.

So, I’m taking them up on the offer. I’m going away. Not too far away, but away from the office and the work schedule. Disconnected from email and a ringing phone. A few days of hiking and staying in a cabin sounds like just what the doctor ordered and the more I think about it, the more I want to be there, in that place of separation.

It must be a statement of our society, our way of life in this part of the world, when we have to find time to be peaceful. We make excuses about how busy we are this week and the next. How we want to go somewhere, take a vacation, visit old friends several states away, but just not right now. We have a lot on our plate and there’s no room for a side order of what we know is the healthiest part of the meal.

We stuff ourselves with what makes us anxious and sometimes sick. The main meal can be the unhealthiest. Waking up too early and going to bed too late. Everything in between is business with a topping of deadlines and a sprinkle of “I’m running behind.”

Once in a while, there is dessert. Something that tastes good but in the long run isn’t too good for you. We eat a lot of dessert in America. It helps us to momentarily forget the fullness of our plate.

The more I think about it, the more I want to be there. Away, unplugged, disconnected, alone. These sound like such negative states of being, but really they are side dishes of relaxation, peace, and happiness. Like vegetables, they don’t sound too good but they make you feel full and content once you have them.

I imagine what would happen if we have veggies more often. In some parts of the world, veggies are consumed daily. Maybe not in big portions like we eat once or twice a year, but a little in each dish, each day. The Europeans call them siestas, and for many, they are not optional but an essential part of the nutritional experience of each day.

I like the idea of siestas. When you have a little goodness each day, you have less anxiety about how long you’ve waited to have the goodness you’ve been waiting for, for so long.

So, next week, I’m trying a new diet. I’ll be sleeping in a little, hiking, enjoying walks downtown, catching up with old friends, and staying away from all my work obligations.

My plate will be full but in a different way. It will be the best eating I’ve had in a while.



Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.