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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Relax

Isn’t it funny the things you remember about people? When I was five years old, my parents won a trip to Disney World. I’m not sure what I was more excited about – the Magic Kingdom itself or the fact that we were staying at Cocoa Beach, which was where I Dream of Jeannie took place. I really thought I might find her bottle on the beach.


Another super random thing I remember about that trip was that my mom‘s Aunt Kathryn lived in Orlando. I don’t think anyone else from either side of my family had ever moved away from North or South Carolina, so she was already kind of exotic.


The thing I remember most from visiting her family was that she served us baked potatoes with tons of butter for dinner. It was my first. Sure, Mom made potatoes, but I never remember her having baked potatoes served whole. So for years and years, I associated Aunt Kathryn with baked potatoes. Had she known, it probably would not have been the most endearing association I could’ve had. “Aunt Kathryn – oh, yeah, her, or as I call her, Spuds.“


As I grew older and she moved back, I found out what a quirky, funny woman she was. She must’ve been in her mid-80s when she started getting forgetful. When that happened, she started pinning notes and reminders to her shirts and sweaters.


She told me one time that she turned the sprinklers on in the yard, and “Damned near ran the well dry before I remembered to read my shirt.“ The older I get the smarter her notes seem.


When people are young (or worried that they don’t seem young as they want to appear) they get very upset if you remind them of anything. I say the more reminders, the merrier. Life is hard enough; I can use all the help I can get. Paul says when I get Alzheimer's, he’ll never know the difference.


Today I went to yoga. It was outside where it was cool and fresh. There was a slight breeze, and the sound of children at the nearby school filled the air as they played outdoors.


The last 5 to 10 minutes of yoga are the best: savasana. It’s also called corpse pose, which is not as relaxing sounding as “savasana.” If you’re not familiar with it, you lie on your mat, palms up, eyes closed, and you completely relax.


That’s what I thought I was doing, and then the teacher reminded us to allow our eyelids to become heavy – I had been squinting. Unclench your jaw – I was almost grinding my teeth. Let your muscles completely relax – I was touching the mat at my shoulders and hips. Everything else was tensed up and off the mat.


I wonder, but don’t really want to know, how much of my day is spent full of tension and bunched muscles. I can’t help but think there’s a strong correlation between tensed muscles and tensed attitude. Maybe it’s all leading to a more stressed, less enjoyable life.


I will gladly take all the reminders I can get from those around me to relax and loosen up. It’s either that or start pinning notes to my clothes.





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