Sandbox 4 – Relaxation and Pleasure

This week at Impromptu Promptlings Sandbox Writing Challenge, we’re asked to tell a little of what relaxes us and what brings us pleasure.

I don’t meditate easily by doing nothing and don’t find meditation relaxing. Other than when at complete rest, I have to lose myself in doing something meditative to obtain relaxation via anything resembling meditation. However, for a while now, there aren’t many hours in a day to find time for relaxation or pleasure between sleeping, resting for illness, dragging myself up to feed the dog and let her outside and to get my own food.

Of course lately, this last few weeks, I’ve been extending my range of activity by managing to blog more regularly and complete blogging101. For the first time in years I’ve drawn a little each day for #DrawingAugust. Both activities involve online human/social contact, however minimal and distanced. Both have helped me feel connected with the world again and provide some challenge and purpose. There’s quite a lot of enjoyment, pleasure and satisfaction to be found in doing such things. The whole world seems at your fingertips when browsing other bloggers posts, the photos, articles of interest, humour and stories shared. Although Twitter’s catchphrase has been ‘Join the conversation’ I feel it applies much more appropriately to the ‘blogosphere’.

I’ve now been managing up to four to six hours day on my feet in the house most days rather than two to four, so increasing my stamina for standing between rests. Being unable to sit down much for severe pain and impaired mobility if I sit make doing some things I enjoyed previously uninviting or even impossible.

Increasing my baseline of activity even by such small measures brings me a great deal of pleasure – or a ‘sense of satisfaction’. I rest easier having at least achieved something, even if it’s not what should perhaps take priority (housework, laundry etc, -with no kids at home and living alone, those tasks have to wait for a physically good day or rather a day I can devote to that main activity and the extra rest I need after.)

Singing is a great way of relaxing, whenever well enough to sing. It regulates breathing and heartbeat and is a great way of non-exertional excercise of deep internal muscles. The vibrations feel good for abdominal organs and lungs and it’s also a good work-out for the brain. Sometimes when my speech has been starting to slur and be muddled, forcing myself to sing along to tunes I know well helps correct and alleviate those symptoms. Being well enough to sing also brings me pleasure. In the last few weeks I’ve felt well enough to sing as if an excercise work-out two or three times and that was great as it had been nearly a year since I was last well enough to sing like that.

One of my biggest everyday pleasures, aside from the company of my lovely dog Boo, is to be able to stand at my back door and enjoy the fresh air, the view of the sky and the trees and birds beyond my garden fence. Occasionally there’s the glimpse of a squirrel in the afternoon, bats circling at twilight and the hooting of an owl later at night. There’s the throng of dawn chorus to enjoy whenever I’m awake early enough and the thrills of evensong – and birdsong of one sort or another most of the day.

Spending time with the people I love and care about should be in this list, but I’ve not been able to visit them and they’re unable to visit me. Receiving visitors and making visits (even if/when well enough) are both awkward for the social convention of being seated.

I could write about things I used to find pleasurable, but for now they’re quite irrelevant and would merely be a wishlist of activities to hopefully return to enjoyment of. Maybe by this time next year or sooner I could make a better list and some of those things would have valid inclusion to writing on this subject 🙂

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