Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Easy for you to say

I love http://www.dictionary.com/, and it's the other resources linked to it like thesaurus, encyclopedia, etc. I typically use it whenever I want to make sure I'm using a word properly, or want to learn the true meaning of a word. We often think we understand what a word means, but do we really??

For example:
re·lax Pronunciation[ri-laks] Pronunciation Key
–verb (used with object)
1. to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax: to relax the muscles.
2. to diminish the force of.
3. to slacken or abate, as effort, attention, etc.
4. to make less strict or severe, as rules, discipline, etc.: to relax the requirements for a license.
5. to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety, etc.: A short swim always relaxes me.

–verb (used without object)
6. to become less tense, rigid, or firm.
7. to become less strict or severe; grow milder.
8. to reduce or stop work, effort, application, etc., esp. for the sake of rest or recreation.
9. to release oneself from inhibition, worry, tension, etc.

Okay, that seems to be an easy enough word to understand. Only about nine different possibilities as to what it can mean. It seems to be one of those verbs that should have a universal understanding like walk, look, eat, etc. However, is it really something that we modern day Americans can actually do? Is it possible that the ability to relax must be a learned trait, and is not automatically ingrained in us for survival sake? We all know how important it is to have a good "life balance" if we can relax. So, why is it so difficult for some of us to do?

Well, if you are one of those people that can deeply drop into meditation with the flip of a coin, have no problem with that "walking the dog" yoga move, or you feel completely rested and stress does not effect you at all, some people might tell you to stop reading here. PLEASE DON'T!! Why would I want that if you have something you might be able to share and help the rest of us "relaxation challenged" individuals??

I am currently on a MIS (Medically Induced Sabbatical), which is just my fancy words for, "the doctor is afraid I'm going to POP so he's put me on disability" statement. I have some health issues that apparently don't react well with stress. Some people are allergic to peanuts...I've got this stress thing. Who knew?

So, what can I do to help my health issues? RELAX!! My medications can only help so far, from what the doctor says. It's like my body is actually resisting the medications. Huh?? I'm told that until I learn how to deal with stress, learn to focus on me, learn to take care of the ever-important me and RELAX, it's not going to get better any time soon.

Relax...hmmmm...I understand the meaning of the word, I've already showed you that. But how do I actually apply the word? I thought I had been:
- I currently commute over 40 miles, each way, per day (when I'm working), but I had taken on a carpooler to ease in the driving.
- When working, it is nothing for me to put in LONG hours in the day, but now that I have the carpooler we were both working on making our days shorter for our families.
- I'm very involved with the three "S's" (Scouting, School and Sports), but I had even tried scaling back on some committments.

Whatever I had been trying, hadn't yet made a difference. So, here I sit, being told to "go home and relax". Easy for you to say!! It's one thing when you have planned a glorious vacation to Hawaii and can relax for a week. However, when you have doctors saying you can't go back to your job until you figure out how to relax, well the pressure is on. I don't know about you, but my body is inclined to do exactly the opposite.

What have I done since I've been off?
- I've joined a gym AND Jazzercize, which is actually more fun than I expected. I never had time for it before.
- I'm trying to read a little every night.
- I've gotten to make my son's football practices, even though he broke his arm shortly after my MIS started.
- I'm trying to listen to my body, and rest when it calls for it.
- I'm seeing my "treaters" regularly.
- I'm getting a massage.
- And I'm re-discovering what used to be very important to me...writing.

Is this relaxing? Am I doing it right? Would I be asked to leave a group of "Overachievers Anonymous" for not getting the point of slowing down and trying to over-achieve?

All I can say is, I'm trying. I'll keep you posted on my progress...if any.


Anonymous said...

I am really starting to get a kick out of this blog. It is kind of like a soap opera, but more real, and you start to care about everyone, including your "honey".
You are giving me some things to think about too.

Mary Grandy said...

Thanks Anon, glad you like! What I can't tell if you are someone who's biased because you know & love me, or if you are someone just learning about me. I guess, even if you know me this blog will teach you something. :)

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment!!