Daily writing prompt
How do you relax?

Peculiar forms of relaxation include driving in heavy traffic to overcrowded beaches on Saturday mornings, waiting in long lines at expensive amusement parks, and getting blasted at bars that serve you cheap house-brand gin when you specifically order the “best stuff.” Admit it, if not these particular forms of insane pastimes, you’ve done something similar. In my case, it used to be driving back to the Boston area from coastal Maine after a long Labor Day weekend. The backup at the toll booths, well, it wasn’t relaxing.

We frequently seem to get confused about what relaxation is. It often involves changes in venue, spending money, and frustrating rounds of “Are we there yet?” Once in a while, we do hear someone exclaim that they had a wonderfully relaxing weekend at home, doing nothing. Are they too poor to go anywhere? Did in-laws inundate them at the last moment? But mostly, we wonder if they are lying.

Periodically, newspaper and media posts appear about how we need to make our sense of relaxation anew. It is suggested that we remake our yards, patios, or homes into relaxing places. The examples all offer glossy photos of expensively appointed locales stylishly redone as resorts.

The problem is not relaxing; it’s relaxing in style or returning to family or friends and relating how wonderful the weekend was. The internal goal of relaxation has ceased to be germane and replaced by the social goal, like a viral social media post.

I celebrate the individual taking a nap in their garden, the tinkerer working in the shop, or the person attending a peaceful Yoga class. Or how about watching a sunset from the crest of a nearby hill, walking the dog, or even planning the next season’s garden?

But let’s be quiet about these things. We don’t want the influencers to find out that relaxation can be so simple or inexpensive.

10 Replies to “Simple”

  1. Had to laugh at your image of enduring heavy traffic just to get to a crowded beach. Hurry up and slow down!

  2. So good. 2020 was an eye-opener for me. “Hey, Martha, all you can do is take your dogs out to the Refuge and paint pictures and maybe do your half-year job from home.” I seriously wondered why everyone was so upset about not being able to go anywhere. I just thought, “I don’t have to do that any more.” I love ARRIVING and BEING somewhere but traveling is annoying.

    1. I was too busy working from home to care. Kit was hardest after restrictions were lifted to get back in the swing of going out…we are still not back to where we were before.

      1. I will never be where I was before. I don’t want to be. It’s so strange. It seems like I was “busy” for no reason. I wonder how many other people found this?

      2. I guess it was different for everyone. I aam struggling to reinvent a woodcarving business in the wake of no longer being able to do the three day boat shows with additional days for set up and tear down. But otherwise than that I agree with you. Other areas of my life have improved greatly.

  3. This made me laugh and I’m with you. A good book is my idea of how to relax. Visiting blogs is another. Sitting in Labor Day traffic for an extra hour to get my daughter the normal 3 hour drive to the airport, not so relaxing. A long-time resident of the town we had to go through to make our left turn said he’d never in 30 years seen the traffic wall to wall like it was on Monday. Told my daughter, never again. Not relaxing. Fall is almost here. That’s relaxing. 🙂

    1. Here in the East Fall seems to be late in arriving. But the garden is producing great squash, and even a fall crop of snap peas and spinach. Relaxation is where you find it, and not in congested traffic!

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