YOU LEFT THE IRON ON TOP OF YOUR BABY! The opposite of that.
In today’s fast paced world of business naps and multi-tasking the making of a sandwich while abseiling so you can live IN THE MOMENT, it seems everyone is on a desperate quest to relax. The sheer blood-sweat effort that goes into providing that blissful moment of release has always seemed like a catch-22. I’d always prided myself on living a life of near somnolent easiness, where the only stress I experienced was just how many hippies I could high five after midday before I rode into the sunset on a Labrador.
Yet somehow over the past year, I found myself juggling a day job, writing and producing a fringe play and following half a hundred other writing projects, living a rich and varied social life and taking my lady love out to dance at romantic Afro-Cuban themed night clubs – or as we call it , ordering Thai and watching Community.
And all you policy makers for the UN or nuclear safety specialists are probably guffawing into your thick coffee substitutes at the nerve of this waifish, whimsy-merchant possibly claiming he has experienced stress. Yet, I would argue that the goals we set ourselves in life are the ones we measure ourselves to. So while the deadline of your ninth draft for your play about genocidal lizards doesn’t really compare globally to the deadlines of a bomb squad or human rights lawyer, they are my deadlines and my responsibilities.
So when my parents kindly invited me to spend Christmas with them for a relaxation-centred holiday in Bali, I happily agreed. A week of lazing around on the beach or beside a pool, with no laptop or email would be just the thing to recharge my batteries.
LACK OF STARS:
Of course, the traditional formula for relaxation is also apparently my bane. What was an idle jaunt to the beach for a small swim and a stroll in the afternoon sun, was to me a chance for Old Yeller to burn my pasty skin with it’s death rays, or for enormous blisters to form on my feet or for me to discover my skin is allergic to either salt, chlorine or sand. Maybe all of them. Relaxation was trying it’s best to kill me.
In response to this, I spent the majority of my time drinking gin and tonic and reading a book in the shade. That’s right – basically what I do at my home. Don’t get me wrong, the holiday itself was wonderful and I got to see and eat some amazing things, but the traditional recipe of beach relaxation is deadly.
This is exemplified by what happened when I decided to get a massage. After the 90 minute long experience, it was true. I was incredibly relaxed. I’d had oil rubbed all over me, my feet and hands had been rubbed, I felt great. So as I left the massage room, I put my thongs on my feet and set off down the wooden stairs. My oiled feet immediately slipped on the slick rubber of the thongs, and I hurtled through my footwear and down the stairs. I managed to grab the bannister, but of course my hands were greasy as well, and in a second I hurtled all the way down to the ground floor, and skidded across the floor in a heap. No real damage was done, mostly because I was so greasy I just kind of kept skidding along the ground, and because I was so relaxed, I didn’t tense up and tear any muscles. As a side note, I’d broken right through my thongs and they had gathered somewhere at the top of my thighs.
Relaxation is trying to kill me.