How to Relax

I am enjoying a moment so unusually quiet and serene, I decided I had to write about it or I might not believe it later. The weather is beautiful. I am sitting on the back deck, sipping something cold and delicious. Daisy May is napping (which is almost unheard of these days!), Cal is playing baseball with my husband and his friend in the front yard, and Clara is visiting a church friend. The laundry is done. The groceries are stocked. There is nothing on my agenda but RELAXING. Wow. Wow. Ohmygosh, wow.

I have been so wound up lately. The start of a new school year always throws us off. Our kitchen is being renovated, which means we have been “camping” in our own house with no functioning kitchen for about a month. Work is very busy. Ian and I have been pulled opposite directions by our tag-team schedules and some extra obligations that have come along. And one of our three kids has become excruciatingly challenging, thanks to a new phase (that I HOPE is screeching to a halt.) I watched Daisy one evening leaning back in her swing laughing with her feet up to the sky, and felt acutely envious of her ability to let it all go.

It was really obvious I needed to do something dramatic to de-stress, before I started spewing hot lava out of my ears. Ian got the ball rolling by practically shoving me out the door last Monday evening. “Go! Have fun! Get away for a night!” he begged. How’s a girl supposed to say no to that?

So I joined some of my theatre friends in cheering on our friend John Vessels as he brought the amazing character “Lillian Baxter” to life. Seeing such a brilliant actor/singer personify such a quirky, hilarious lady on stage ended up being the best medicine I never could have guessed I needed. Thank you, Lil!

I did a few more things this week too during the relaxation quest: I worked in a little more time for girlfriend talks; reminded myself that I can only do the best I can with what I have to work with, and that will have to be just fine; got all the errands done Friday so I could relax the rest of the weekend; had a wonderful brunch with my husband and two of our most treasured friends; ran a mile by myself; splurged on a sitter so I could enjoy a birthday dinner with dear friends; and fought aggressively against instincts to rush anything. Yesterday, I spent a few hours working in the yard, attacking some weeds that had been bugging me, and firmly telling myself that it was really, really okay that everything isn’t perfect.

As Lillian Baxter said during her one-woman show, the best beauty advice is “take what God gave you, and point at it.”

I think that works for me for life in general, too. Especially on a slow-motion Sunday afternoon like this one. “Look,” I tell myself. “Just look at all of this that you have been given. Now chill out – and ENJOY it.”

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