Tuesday, June 26, 2007

mind, body, and [soul]tice

i really thought my life would be less stressful after college. i assumed upon leaving the college of architecture planning and design, that the stress would be left behind with my lazy boy recliner on the curb with all the other items that couldn't fit on my truck. but alas it's still here. now, it's not the same as it was in college, it has a different feel, but it's still there. i'm guessing that's just life though. there's always going to be a little stress and a little drama. i'm learning slowly though, that how you deal with it, will result in how "it" effects your life.

now stress doesn't like to be ignored, it's like the mosquito bite that i have on my sock line right now. a little annoyance, ever so slight, begging me to focus on it. itching and poking at it, however, makes it worse, but if you're able to ignore it, just for a bit, your mind can go on to think about other thoughts, and slowly, you almost forget that it's there.

i'm getting better at that. like leaving problems at work, for a bit, so i can enjoy the longest day of sunshine with friends at a bbq, or trying to decide the best club to use when 250 yards out, and not placement of columns.

a recent form of relaxation that i've taken up recently, is sitting for a few minutes in the steam room at the downtown YMCA. i frequent the YMCA, not only for the health benefits, but for the plethora of unique individuals that occupy it's interior, and with my argyle socks, i'm no exception. last thursday, however, my idea of relaxation met someone elses form of relaxation and i'm still trying to understand it.

i was done working out, so i wrapped up in my towel, put on my flip flops and walked into the steam room. as i opened up the door, the steam partially blurred my vision and i couldn't see much except a few blurry forms. but i heard a whipping/brushing sound. a little uneasy about this, i made my way to a bench and tried to figure out what was going on. as the steam cleared, i was able to make out the noise. there was a rather old-ish man lying down on a bench, with another old-ish man hitting him with a bundled up bunch of oak leaves.

believe me, any stress i had on my mind quickly left my mind, as i tried desperately to figure out what was going on here, and not burst out laughing.

this "oak leaf" massage lasted for about 10 minutes, afterwords the old-ish man with the leaves....leaves, leaving the other man in the steam room. my curiosity bursting, i asked.

"ummm......if you don't mind me asking........what's with the leaves?"

to which the old-ish man replied in a foreign accent. " is form of massage in norway...helps circulation of blood."

alright, i thought, that's perfectly legit. however he then stood up, walked to within six inches of me, which is way to close in a steam room, and said.

"no need for viagra, ha ha ha"

i was speechless, i had no idea what to reply with.

he then sat down, and we enjoyed the silence of the steam room for the next few minutes. the whole time however i was wondering how having a man hit you with a bunch of leaves in a steam room, would be an alternative to "said" pill, but i thought, you know what, to each his own."

which brings me back to my point. whatever you need to do in order to relax and de-stress, i hope you do it. whether it's sitting and chatting with friends over dinner, enjoying concerts, playing a round of 18, or getting smack with oak leaves..........

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