So, most of you probably have heard the song Relax, right? By Frankie Goes to Hollywood? Well, if not, you can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/oh4tHpUflDA
If you know the lyrics to the song, you will probably think, like I do, that this song ‘s title is rather an oxymoron. Let me give you a sample of the lyrics:
“Relax don’t do it
When you want to go to it
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come”
So the title is Relax, but then the lyrics say – don’t do it. And the musical rhythm is pounding and regular and not what I would put in the “relaxing” mode. I would say that my typical rules for relaxation have been – perhaps subconsciously – impacted by the song. Because, usually, Relax? I pretty much don’t do it. What did you do to relax? I cut out a new costume and danced. Yep. My “relaxing.” Or, if I am being really relaxing, going for a long walk. Because it doesn’t actually accomplish anything…
But, I am learning – it may still be a bit of a journey – the benefits of relaxing….
For the past month or so I have been exhausted. Not wanting to do anything, falling asleep early, being lethargic, slow, just lacking the usual energy I have. I had tons to do and was getting nothing done. And that made me feel cranky and no more energetic. Plus my body wasn’t healing and my muscles weren’t relaxing/releasing. They were tight and painful and just pretty much pissing me off. I was frustrated because I was “catching up” on sleep. I felt like I was having more than enough sleep, actually. I figured that maybe I was lethargic because my life wasn’t stressful enough at the time and so I lacked surges of adrenaline to keep myself going. That may be true – however, the problem with that is that you don’t really want to rely on your adrenaline full time. Because it actually wears your body down and makes your body more stressed out. Bummer. Because, apparently as a general rule my body really loves adrenaline.
So, I was wondering if there was something terribly and horribly wrong with me – I mean, more than the normal things I already know are wrong with me. I am getting older. Was this it? Had I finally reached the point of no return? Was life all downhill from here? I was going to quickly become my grandmother, sleeping the bulk of the day on the sofa telling people that I was way too perky to actually take a nap in bed. (I already tell Mr. Velvet I am fine and then fall asleep on him when we watch movies on the sofa.) Nooooo! (Note: I am not worried about becoming my grandmother. I am much more likely to become my mother. On the other hand,, I am way too similar to my father to really become like my mother….)
Anyway, feeling like garbage – physically and mentally (because I wasn’t getting enough DONE and that makes me pretty much a loser…) I took a few days off from work with Mr. Velvet. We went on a trip to Mendocino. If you have not been to the Mendocino area, there is not a whole lot up there, and yet there is. There are old Victorians, the forest, the ocean, some cute shops and state parks with hiking nearby. We stayed in a cute hotel, did a lot of walking and hiking, a little shopping, sufficient eating, and some driving around. I brought stuff to “do” like sewing and choreography and ended up doing NONE of it. We slept when we felt like it. I even took an actual nap one day. We pretty much relaxed… (I also made the decision that I don’t know if I can ever totally and entirely “retire.” I will probably have to do something like teach dance classes or do consulting or some such thing like that.”)
And guess what? When we got home I actually started feeling like myself again. I was productive again. It wasn’t necessarily the stuff that I was chastising myself for not doing for month, but it was still stuff. I started spring cleaning the house, finished three choreographic dances in process, started getting little things done and just feeling like I had energy again to do things. I don’t know. Maybe my body and brain were bored with relaxing and needed to do something again. Maybe they got some rest finally instead of pseudo rest where I was chastising myself all the time I was “resting” for not being productive and pretty much stressing myself out for it. Whatever reason, I felt better. And I am still feeling better. And I am trying to keep busy – within reason when I can. Some nights I am busy, and then, some nights I am not. One night last week I came home from work, ran an errand, cooked a decent dinner, and then relaxed and read a book and watched a movie with Mr. Velvet. That was all. And a couple of times guilt started to creep in and I said to myself – “Stop it.” Because – even though I am apparently a workaholic, I, too, need to actually relax once in awhile.
So, maybe I need to rewrite the words of the song “Relax” and create a more reasonable version for myself – and maybe others who need to hear it too…
“Relax, just do it
When you need rest get to it it
Relax just do it
Rest when you need some….”