Monday, October 10, 2011

Relaxation Done My Way

Today is the day my husband leaves for Africa.  The morning before he leaves is normally complete stress and chaos.  The weather never cooperates until the weekend before his flight, so we have two days to do all of the outside work that has accumulated over the last two months.   This weekend was the same, and I'm grateful the weather was so perfect over the weekend.  It's October and my kids are wearing shorts to school - I think that's the only thing I love about living in Ohio - the weather is never what it's supposed to be.  It's always a surprise.

To reduce my stress, which has had my blood pressure in the stroke zone over the last week, I did what most people wouldn't consider to be stress relieving.  I pressure washed my front porch, cleaned the rail, repainted the rail, and put a five year stain on the floor boards.  I finished at 8 PM last night - my husband held a flashlight for me so I could finish the last two boards. 

While I painted, I listened to my favorite Bread CD.  My husband is younger than me and had never heard of Bread when we got married.  Their music relaxes me and instantly sends me back to my first year of college, when life was easy.  I went to college in the late eighties, not the early 70's.  My friends and I loved 70's music in the 80's.  I still do.

While I painted the porch, the troupe of little boys came down the street.  They paused, trying to get eye contact - permission to come up and ask me a million questions about what I was doing and to see if they could help.  I just wanted to be alone yesterday, so instead of talking to my little friends who often stop to hang out, I sang out loud with my Bread CD.  That did drive them away quickly.  I do not sing well, but yesterday I didn't care who heard me sing - it bought me privacy.

While I painted, I thought about writing.  I came up with a game plan for finishing up the novels I've started.  It's a low stress plan, one that made me happy with no pressure to publish, just inclusion of writing in every day because it is meditation for me, it's what I need. 

I also decided to take a road trip on my own, or with some writing friends if I can convince them to come with me.  I'm going to go to my favorite hotel in North Carolina and sit on the balcony to write while listening to the waves crash on the shore. 


  1. Take a road trip! It will do you good. And taking care of the porch was a task you could stand back and admire once done, so I can see how that wouldn't be stressful.

  2. Happy you got the rail done and I pray your hubby has safe travels

  3. I'm sorry your hubby is going to Africa. Yep, take a driving trip and get your mind off things and relieve the stress.

  4. I totally understand how all that cleaning and painting would be a de-stresser. I like to rip out the garden weeds when I have to relieve that stress.

  5. Alex - The repetitive thing with the painting and pressure washing was somehow meditative.

    Keena - Thank you. He's in flight now. Had a stop on the way yesterday.

    Ciara - I wonder if I can leave and not be stressed out worrying about my kids?

    Lynda - Weeding and gardening in general is very stress-relieving. I should have taken out my frustration on my weeds - that would have been a very good idea actually.