R & R & R & R

Rest and Relaxation and Recreation and Recuperation

By Jeff Salter

This week the Resident Foxes and I are discussing our favorite way to relax. I’ve struggled with this topic, because I don’t find that I “relax” all that much. Before I attempt to explain, let me remind you of the military term, “R & R” — which is a brief respite from the stress and danger of combat, or deployment, or even just from the daily obligations of serving in uniform.

When I realized I couldn’t recall if R & R meant rest and relaxation or rest and something else, I turned to Wiki, which states the following:

R&R, military slang for rest and recuperation (OR rest and relaxation OR rest and recreation OR “rock and roll”). So, to cover all those bases, let’s say that it means Rest and Relaxation and Recreation and Recuperation — R & R & R & R. Notice that REST figures into each of the interpretations.

And that’s where I’ll begin: to me REST – whether nightly sleep or afternoon nap – is the only true form of relaxation. Some of the Foxes say they can relax by cooking, baking, jogging, or doing something creative like handicrafts or playing an instrument. To me, all those would take significant effort and therefore are counter to the notion of rest and relaxation. Or, R & R & R & R.


This is NOT me, but the position is familiar for afternoon naps.

Let me also distinguish between things I find enjoyable or fulfilling — but do not qualify as “relaxation” by my definitions. I love to write, for example, and do so all the time… pretty much most of each day. It’s fulfilling, but not restful… not relaxing. [Not to me, anyway.]

I guess the closest I can get (that nearly everyone will understand) is that I can usually relax while I’m reading or watching old movie DVDs. So if I had to give a one sentence answer to this topic, that’s it.

But I also find it quite relaxing to sit on my front porch and do nothing in particular. Sipping coffee would be nice… and/or popping the occasional M&M Peanut. Or maybe I’m journaling… or scratching out notes on a new fiction story concept.

I don’t need a lot of conversation or interaction in this relaxation scenario. Not that I mind someone else sharing the porch at that same time… but I don’t want to debate politics, solve the problems of the world, or get stressed over schedules. And I don’t really find chatter to be particularly relaxing.

My late father-in-law, Charles A. Williams, was the perfect companion for front porch relaxing. He was not one to jabber — in fact, he could go for an hour without speaking a syllable. But when something needed to be said, he’d say it — and everyone would stop and listen.

So, I guess that’s it. In fact, I’m pretty durn relaxed right this minute — as I type the final words to this blog post and remember a few of those many times I’d sit with my late father-in-law and we’d just sit and think and reminisce – often silently to ourselves – and perhaps say nothing at all.


What do YOU do to relax?

[JLS # 363]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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10 Responses to R & R & R & R

  1. Joselyn says:

    I think I could handle your relaxation scenario with good conversation or a good book, but to sit and do absolutely nothing would make me jumpy. I’d be contemplating all the things I should be doing. Like now…the edits I have waiting for me or the snow pants I should fix.

    Liked by 3 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      “Men work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.”
      Yeah, sometimes when I’m trying to relax, my brain will override and start nagging me about the things un-done or partly-done.
      But I’m remarkably able at times to beat back that brain override. So, I guess it’s an override of the override.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember sitting on the deck with my grandma just relaxing, watching the sun set, listening to the animals. There was no need to talk. We just enjoyed the quiet of the evening. I miss having a place to do that. Those were some of the most relaxing evenings but living where I live you can’t really enjoy the quiet and unwind while sitting outside.

    Those memories of your father-in-law sound like they are cherished.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      yes they are. I loved my F-I-L in a very different way than I loved my own natural father. My real dad was more the intellectual… and loved debate. His brain was always chewing on something and he always wanted to verbalize it.
      My F-I-L was almost the total opposite — kept most of his thoughts in his own noggin… which often drove his wife crazy.
      I loved them both — but sitting on the porch with my natural dad would not have been relaxing. It would have been intellectually and creatively stimulating perhaps… but not relaxing.
      Sounds you and your grandma had something quite special.


  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m with Joselyn. To sit and do nothing makes me anxious. My hubby, on the other hand, can sit for days. Must be a guy thing. Sometimes I wish he’d sit on the front or the back porch, but there’s nothing for him to see (translation: no TV). We CAN go for several hours without speaking to each other. We just relax in our own ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Yeah, I know lots of guys who need to have a TV on — sometimes several TVs, so they don’t miss anything when traveling among rooms. LOL.
      I need quiet… and a blaring TV is everything but quiet — especially the stinking, inane commercials.


  4. Joselyn, Patty and I seem to be of the same mind-set; sitting still is seldom , if ever, ‘relaxing’. I tend to multitask. Besides, sitting out in KY is often a battle-of-the-bugs! NOT relaxing to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      KY climate is so much more pleasant than LA where we lived for many decades. In LA we had no front porch to speak of … just a stoop. And the thing behind our house — I’m loathe to call it a “porch” — was inhospitable because of the humidity, or the bugs, or the intrusive (but well-meaning) neighbors who too often wanted to yammer if they spotted us.


  5. jbrayweber says:

    The R&R acronym always reminds me of railroad signs.
    Anywhoo…like you, I don’t do much by way of relaxing. There’s is a never-ending list of things to do plus, kids. Massages relax me. But I only get one once in a rare blue moon. I go to the beach a lot, which is relaxing but also inspiring. Therefore, it is more common to see me with pen and paper than chilling with my toes in the sand. I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is a timely post. I was just wondering the other day if I even know HOW to relax.


    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      When I worked full time — and especially for the final dozen years of my 30- year library career — I was wound up so tightly that I truly never relaxed. Couldn’t sleep either. It was a horrid time, which really took its toll on my health (physical and emotional). Early retirement was a necessity, not a casual choice.

      Liked by 1 person

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