Relaxing is harder than it looks

Posted 8/9/19

(Editor's Note: Originally published in July 2018.)We all try to relax more in the summertime.We deserve it. It’s hot, and the outside to-do lists grow as fast as the weeds.But relaxing is hard …

This item is available in full to subscribers


Relaxing is harder than it looks


(Editor's Note: Originally published in July 2018.)


We all try to relax more in the summertime.

We deserve it. It’s hot, and the outside to-do lists grow as fast as the weeds.

But relaxing is hard work; at least, for me it is. I sometimes wonder if it’s worth it.

I’m not the best relaxer to begin with. I’m wound just a tad bit tightly. I have a hard time stopping to smell the roses.

Even when I’m not in a hurry to get somewhere, I gnaw on the steering wheel when the traffic light sees me coming and turns red.

Yes, sometimes I truly think it works that way. 

My favorite place to attempt a little downtime is in our backyard. We have some trees and an umbrella for shade. We have comfortable chairs.

I like to sit out there when I can. When I do, though, usually within the first minute I see something that needs fixing, pruning, put away or tossed in the garbage.

This typically happens about a half dozen times before I realize I never made it outside with whatever I was going to read.

Then, after I get settled in again, I have to go back inside to pick up my sunglasses which I laid down when I went in search of my reading material.

Don’t be too impressed. My reading material is usually my phone, but sometimes I pick up a real book.

And after all those ups and downs, my time in the shade usually ends with one of those isolated thunderstorms.

Lots of people say it’s easier to relax away from your house where you can see someone else’s weeds and not be tempted to go pull them.

Some of my friends have boats. Judging by their Facebook posts, they look like they’re having a relaxing time.

I know better, though. They’re not relaxing. They’re exhausted.

I’ve been boating many times. I find it to be hard work.

Pack the cooler, pack the car, drive a half hour, unpack the car, carry the cooler forever down a pier and try not to fall in the water getting on the boat.

Plus, I have never, ever been boating when I, and everything I wanted to bring with me, all set sail together.

Maybe I just did it wrong. Feel free to invite me out so I can give it another shot.

Vacations can be fun, but they’re rarely relaxing either — especially beach vacations.

We’ve all heard, “Are we there yet?” before we ever cross the county line.

We’ve all tracked sand through the room and made a mini-beach in the bathtub.

We’ve all experienced hermit crab funerals, sunburns, long lines for just-OK fried seafood and blistering hot cars.

We’ve all pulled in the garage at home at 10 o'clock Sunday night and set the alarm to get up for work bright and early the next day.

Now might be a good time to mention I am at least slightly more fun at parties than all of this suggests. Maybe I should stop writing this on Monday morning.

When it comes right down to it, relaxation is different for each of us. And I also think the things we find leisurely depend on our age.

Maybe I should take up knitting.

Nah, I’d spend all my time trying to find my needles.


(About the writer: Barry Currin is founder and president of White Oak Advertising and Public Relations, based in Cleveland. “Stories of a World Gone Mad” is published weekly. Email the writer at



No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment


Print subscribers have FREE access to by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE