Summer is upon us. As quickly as it has arrived, it will be gone. In the meantime, most of us spend a part of our summer relaxing or enjoying time away from our daily routines. I have contemplated “what I do to relax.” When most of us think about relaxing or hobbies, we automatically go to things that demand less of us – no longer working non-stop to deliver a project or product, but instead kicking back and doing less. Lying on the beach or at the pool, reading, or strolling about in a new place are often included in the “relaxation recipe.”
During the past couple of years, I realized that one thing that actually relaxes me is thinking – not worrying or planning new projects or considering what has gone wrong or right, but simply spending time in thought. I used to think this was a negative. After all, when one relaxes, isn’t one supposed to clear their mind and keep it empty of thought? Isn’t that the beauty of a break from the daily grind? Perhaps it is for most. Not so for me. As I thought of this, I was reminded of the last few years of my father’s life. As he aged, his vision was not what it had been. He spent a lot of time “in his head” composing poems for his family. We would receive birthday, anniversary, graduation and other cards with poems, specific to our lives and the occasion. It was a delight. To relax, he wrote poetry in his head because he couldn’t necessarily do the reading and revision that was needed to do it on paper. The wonder of this is that he was not a writer nor a poet prior to these years. It relaxed and entertained him, and it delighted each person who was the recipient of his efforts.
So, as you do whatever it is you do to relax this summer, honor who you are and what you find to be relaxing. Only you know the recipe needed for you to unwind and enjoy some lazy days this summer.