Chill Out!

I came to the realization this week that I stink at relaxing.  You wouldn’t think relaxing is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.  I may be missing a gene, or maybe I was dropped on my head as an infant.  I could have missed a class on relaxation. Whatever the reason, I just can’t relax. Hang out. Chill.

So this summer, I will learn to relax.  Except that sounds like I am planning to relax, which in effect negates the whole idea of relaxing.

This is hard.

I envy people who can just chill out on the couch, watching sports or a favorite sitcom.  I can watch TV, but I am usually also thumbing through a magazine, folding clothes, trying to blog, surfing the Internet, stretching my chronically stiff hips, or playing fetch with the dog.  And relaxing, I guess.

Even if I pour a glass of wine, shut down the laptop, and cuddle next to hubby on the couch I am likely to still be “on” in my head.  Menus to plan, schedules to coordinate, who needs to be where tomorrow at what time?  It’s like that ticker on Wall Street with the same information streaming by every few minutes. Except even the stock market shuts down and takes a break. No ticker, just quiet.

Some people relax while going for a walk.  I usually spend time on a walk thinking about what I need to do when I get home. Or what I should be doing rather than walking.  Walks feel like they need a destination, a purpose.  Other than just the relaxing, of course.

I tried yoga class a few years back.  Friends said it would be relaxing.  It felt good to stretch, but I just couldn’t turn my head off.  After about 15 minutes, I started clock-watching.  When would this relaxing be over, so I could get on with things that needed to be done?  After the class ended, so did my stint with yoga.  I may try again someday, in a studio with no clock.

I do enjoy reading, something that I find more time for in the summer.  But sometimes I find that I want to finish a book so I can start the NEXT book in my pile.  Now it seems like a task to complete, not a method of relaxation.

Maybe my problem is that I don’t REALIZE I am relaxing while I enjoy favorite activities.  Relaxation may not have to take place on its own, but instead with a symphony of other things interrupting it in the background.

Or maybe I just have the attention span of a Cub Scout.

This summer, I have visions of a lounge chair on the beach, a great book, listening to the waves, and trying to soak up some sun through my SPF 50, umbrella, and floppy hat.  Sometime this summer I will relax, and I will enjoy it.  It may have to be while I am asleep, but I will be relaxed.