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.
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]