To Relax or Not to Relax – that is the question….
Hafa Adai! Greetings from Guam!
I am not very good at relaxing. I have a full time management job, a house, a spouse, pets. I teach burlesque classes, teach dance classes, perform, costume, sing, write, choreograph and generally don’t sit down a whole hell of a lot other than to fall asleep on my husband’s shoulder (or play with my guinea pigs!) I have been accused of being one of the busiest women in burlesque. Maybe it is true, maybe not. There are a lot of busy burlesquers out there. So, when it comes time to relax, I am usually have a bit of trepidation. So, when I was scheduled to go to Guam for three weeks for work, I didn’t know whether to be relieved or to be worried. I think it is the latter.
So, I have traveled to Hawaii for work before at three to four weeks at a time. That is hard enough – but I usually manage to keep myself occupied. Honolulu, despite being in the tropics, is a city. Things move, they are fast-paced. I can be relaxed AND run around.
My typical after-office hours in Honolulu consist of dinner, a long walk with plenty of shopping because the stores are usually open til 10 or 11pm and then exercising in my room when I get back (or choreographing or whatever else I need to do.) Also, the time change is not crazy, so I have two or three hours time difference – depending on the time of year. It makes it so that I have reasonable times to call home, conduct business with people back home and I don’t have to spend an excessive period of time calculating what time it is on the mainland. Plus, while the hotels get a strong mix of American and Japanese tourists, the beds are still typically soft and I love me a soft sink-into bed. Yum!
Guam is a different story. After work I call my spouse in hopes that he is not yet in bed, because it is 18 hours earlier at home, meaning I get off work at 11pm and back to the hotel sometime between 11:30 and midnight when he may (or may not be) be in bed, depending on the level of his sleepiness.
At seven it is dark and the pools at the hotel are closed. I can eat dinner and I can walk, but the shopping is much more limited and I do not have the range of safe, well-lit, and comfortable walking areas that are available in Honolulu. I can drive, but I have already discovered that google maps in Guam is marginal, the roads are narrow and badly lit with potholes, and, as such, after dark there is really no place that I want to go badly enough to have to drive myself to it. Plus, it is hotter here than Hawaii, so the tired, lazy heat factor is even that much more intense. So far, my favorite pastimes are swimming in the pool-like beach, the pool-like pool, or doing bar-work on my lanai (do they have a different name in Guam, I do not know!! Lanai is the Hawaii terminology.)
Plus, I am tired. I think I am tired because there is an 18 hour time difference in Guam. To talk to my husband during his lunch break from teaching, I have to wake up at 5:30AM. Then, several mornings we have spent 20 minutes just trying to connect via Skype because the hotels wifi is wonky. Also, the beds are low and hard – the rooms are catered more to the Japanese tourist trade, and the whole trip I have been sleeping about 2 hours at a time before waking back up. Not super conducive for a good sleep.
So, the whole trip has been super relaxing and super discouraging and super depressing! Since I am tired and hot and discombobulated, I don’t feel like a powerhouse and things like rehearsing in my room and choreographing are not as compelling as they should be. Therefore, I feel like I am lazy and a loser, which makes me more depressed, which makes me more tired, which makes me not want to move and do less which makes me more depressed, and so on and so on and so on. It is like an endless loop to try to keep my mind in a non-depressed and positive mind-set. Damn it is hard!
I have had some lovely experiences in Guam – the island is beautiful, the reefs feel totally safe to swim in (even though I do still spazz out excessively when I get water in my snorkel mask and I did get a contact stuck in my eye while snorkeling), the fish are interesting, I saw a Carabao (water buffalo), went to the totally weird and tiny zoo, and ate some amazing poke.
But, I desperately need more physical and mental stimulation. The television pretty much sucks, I have read all but one of the books I brought with me for the trip (5 out of 6 and I need to keep one for the flight home), and being on Facebook too much will cause my brain to just devolve excessively. Like an animal in a too tiny cage, I can only do so much in my room, even though it looks out onto a beautiful sandy beach and a coral reef, without feeling like I want to scale the walls. Like the caged tiger, I will pace for awhile back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, until I finally give up and curl up into a shallow and restless sleep, waking up periodically to growl at the caw of a bird or the scream of an ambulance or just the torment from a memory of freedom outside the walls of my room.
So, I will concur that some relaxing at some points in time is a good thing. But too much relaxing and too little to do makes Velvet a very sad girl! Looking forward to seeing you soon in San Francisco! I have ALL the things going on in February when I get back – gogo at Hubba, DIVA or Die Burlesque, Circus of Sin in San Jose, the four night Burlesque Extravaganza at The EXIT Theatre, and Bad Influences Burlesque in San Jose!