Sunday, September 15, 2013

Turning Off The World And Relaxing

Lately my wife and I have been struggling with turning our minds off and allowing ourselves to relax. It’s an interesting juxtaposition in that as soon as we started slowing down on the weekends and spending more time at home “relaxing” we started having issues taking it easy. And it hasn’t been for a lack of trying but sometimes what worked in the past doesn’t necessarily work now.

My issue has always been that I need to have something to keep my mind busy in order for my mind to relax. At the same time, I need to take some time off during the weekend from the daily tasks of the week so my mind is left to fend for itself. Of course, posting on this blog and the Phillies blog keep me busy every day but that still leaves a large chunk of time unaccounted for.

Occasionally, television is a good refuge but it is becoming increasingly difficult with the poo that is smeared across the dial. Some days it seems like every channel has some form of Honey Boo Boo or Obama Boo Boo on it and I have no other choice than to turn the darn thing off. Even the History channel, normally a reliable fallback, seems to have more and more content focused on ghosts and aliens.

Books provide a pleasant respite from the noise of the world but even that has become a difficult endeavor as either it is too quite which allows my mind to enter into the fray or my eyes are too heavy to focus which is usually the situation during the week. I have only been able to escape into the pages of historical volumes for fleeting moments when the larger task at hand is centered on coloring in the leaves of the family tree. Those are the brief and intense moments that are both tiring and refreshing as everything else around me disappears. It’s like taking a nap in the middle of the day… it will get you through the next couple of hours but it can’t replace a good night’s sleep.

To, hopefully, address this issue there are a few things that I will be reintroducing in the next week or so which hopefully will satiate my need to relax and recharge all of which revolve around one simple task… getting the frick out of the apartment. Traveling and returning to the synagogue for regular weekly services is what we both need to do to keep us going, keep us relaxed, and keep us grounded. We can do these things together and enjoy the common experiences. However, there is one thing that I need to do by myself (because I can’t convince my wife to go)… I need to get to the range.

Just the thought of that makes me feel better. Some people look forward to the relaxation of playing a round of golf or competing with their friends on the basketball court but that is not for me. I enjoy competing with myself, and frequently with those around me, by seeing who is the best at putting holes in paper. For many of you this may seem like a crazy concept but this is honestly one of the most effective ways for me to relax.

If you take your time, respect the firearm, and focus acutely on hitting the bulls eye the world around you disappears and all your attention is on the task at hand. Regardless of skill or ability, I have seen everyone reach that state of complete focus. This is the only sport where I have felt a complete sense of peace and calm. This is my respite in the midst of a chaotic week.

So, that is how I relax. What works for you?