Nature can Nurture

Wiseguy and I are planning a trip (escape) from this harsh winter weather to a destination of tropical warmth and subsequent bliss. To make myself appear as an even bigger tourist I decided to go for a mani/pedi. As I parked myself in the leather massage chair, I leaned back and heard wonderful relaxation music in the background. I looked up and saw the tv was on. Oh…it was like a meditation channel. Pictures of butterflies, green fields, snow capped mountains. The plethora of pictures faded in and out with a lovely variety of relaxing themes. There were the awe inspiring waterfalls, the colourful birds, the majestic horses. I noticed a common theme. Basically, if you want to relax, cut yourself off from manmade things and focus on nature.

Growing up in a metropolis…ok the burb of a metropolis, I was accustomed to loud noises. Imagine having your house on an airplane flight path. Every evening when you were just about to fall asleep you would hear the rumbling airplane engines flying overheard. Grrrr…after a couple of weeks it didn’t matter. I had grown accustomed to that particular noise and no longer noticed it. It’s funny how the mind can adjust to strange sounds.

When Wiseguy and I moved into our apartment we were so excited about the beautiful view we had from the balcony. There were no other buildings around us. There was a forest nearby. The main street was far away so we could barely hear the traffic. So peaceful. We were also close to the lake so it was nice being able to see the CN Tower in Toronto. Ahhh..peace and quiet. As we sat on the balcony drinking our wine, I opened my mouth to say, “What a beautiful view” when my words were overridden by the Toot Toot sound of a TRAIN! Holy smokes our building was near train tracks. These tracks were not just for freight trains, but for passenger trains as well. It was a consistent chugga chugga sound in the background. The 2 a.m. freight (a.k.a. “fright”) train was especially invigorating the first few weeks. Again, my mind got accustomed to the sound and I slept soundly through all the comings and goings on those rails.

I had become acclimated to planes and trains. No biggie. Then we moved into our present-day house. Lovely neighbourhood. No planes, no trains, but automobiles did abound and then the one quirky modern-day mode of transportation entered our lives; buses. Yup…hadn’t heard that sound before. There is the whooshing sound it makes when it stops to let passengers on and off. Then there is the gearing up as it leaves. The brakes…now THAT’S a sound that irritated me to no end. Yes, past tense as I have adjusted to that sound as well.

Imagine my surprise when I went up to the cottage. It was quiet. I could hear leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. I could hear the water lapping up on the sandy beach. By evening we were exhausted from breathing in the fresh air. My nose had never smelled anything so unpolluted. As I lay back on my pillow I found I couldn’t sleep. There was that awful noise. It kept me up all night. Crickets. Like, what the hell? There no planes or buses or trains. How could I possibly resign myself to peaceful slumber without the city racket?

The city girl finally learned to relax and breathe and enjoy the new sounds. The crickets dutifully chirped me to sleep for the rest of the week. The birds sang me to wakefulness early every morning. I would sit outside with my morning coffee and listen to the wind blow through the trees. I would hear a far off loon make its morning greeting. By the end of the week I had decompressed. My ears had forgotten the roar of street traffic. My nose had been purged of exhaust fumes and smelly smog. Nature and the natural life was all I wanted to experience.

The week away ended and it was time to return to city life. I do love my modern conveniences …my car to get me everywhere, the stores with all the joys of shopping, and all the spiffy gadgets that make life quick and easy. But that week away reminded me that when the daily grind gets me polluted and worn out, look up to the sky and clouds and the birds and escape momentarily. Nature can nurture.

Life is like a rainfall shower head

I have read and heard many stories about the benefits of a nice, hot bath.  I have seen pictures where there are frothy bubbles and scented candles surrounding a tub.  There are spongy loofahs, wooden book holders, calming flute music…yadda, yadda, yadda.  I have foregone all these relaxing dunks.  I am sure that if I did try just soaking for awhile my mind would wander off to the fairy forest and my brain would stop overplaying lists of things I could be doing were I not sitting around in a watering hole.  I am sure I can hear your gasps of dismay and your degrading comments of how I am missing out on the special relaxing quality of the spa.  Maybe I’m just not that relaxing kind of gal.  Well, I thought I wasn’t until Wiseguy installed a new shower head.

My “new-to-me” Moen shower head was actually a gift that I bought for Wiseguy five years ago.  He is a tall man and I thought the two part shower head would assist him in washing off more quickly and efficiently.  (Yup, always looking for ways to increase productivity haha).  Wiseguy decided to reno his bathroom and remove the ancient green tub and put in a stand up shower.  I discovered he NEVER used the rainfall part of the shower head.  Meh, his loss.  The silver lining here is that he got a different shower head for his shower and I got gifted with the Moen.  Lucky me!

I was looking forward to using it, but not super excited.  I believed I knew what it would feel like.  I was wrong.  So wrong.  I used it for the first time today and I seriously almost fell down in the tub as this mini rainfall sprinkled upon my body.  I started with the small, main shower head.  Usual pressure.  Nothing crazy.  Then I turned on the rainfall shower head.  I cannot explain what it feels like to have little water droplets cascade from the top of my shoulders down to my thighs.  I will give it a try though.

Rain fall shower heads disperse the water so that it feels like little massage fairies walking around your body.  Little tap, tap, taps.  These hot droplets hit various pressure points all at the same time.  Your mind can’t function because you are enthralled with little wet fingers that keep gently striking you.  How can you think about anything while you are becoming jelly under these rain forest-like conditions?  You don’t realize how sensitive your skin is until you stand under a rainfall shower head.  I would recommend it to anyone!

For you bath people, I am sure that your method works well for you.  A nice, hot, steamy bath where you can feel your muscles unknotting as you soak.  Please continue to enjoy your method of decompressing.  I am happy to have found this glorious hot rain that won’t let me think about anything because I am too focused on where each water droplet is tapping on my body.  My mind gets erased.  My stress is removed.  The hardest part is realizing that I will eventually have to turn off this glorious stream and continue with my day.

This concludes my enjoyment sharing for today.  May you find and appreciate the little joys you have in your life.  There are many and we oftentimes miss them because our “want list” always seems longer and more desired than the “already have list”.

Quote for the day:  Life is like a rainfall shower head.  Feels good! (author: Maryann Jurcich)

Technologically Incapacitated

You know you’re getting older when…

You get a new cell phone and your 5 year old has to show you how to use it.

What would we do without the younger generation?  Seriously, am I the only one that feels so technologically incapacitated when it comes to newer electronics?  I heard the word “android” for so long on the radio that I thought there was a new Sci Fi movie coming out.  I discovered later, while watching tv, that the “android” was a new type of cell phone.  Go figure.

I myself was so thrilled when I purchased my iPhone.  It’s an antique now.  I bought it two years ago.  They don’t even make the safety-cover-anti-scratch-screen-thinga-ma-jiggy protector for it anymore.  Obsolete.  I am sure that if I bought an electronic gizmo today by tomorrow there would be a new better, faster, smarter, piece of electronic hardware to replace it.

My iPhone was just so neat and compact and colourful.  I just didn’t know how to use it.  Flip through starter manual.  Got it.  Sort of.  My one stepson, The Wiz, sat me down and showed me all the neat-o things my iPhone could do.  We downloaded apps.  We played with the apps.  We surfed the net. We checked out facebook.  Amazing!  All of this in one neat little electronic unit.  Then I couldn’t part with it.  I wouldn’t let the battery level drop below 95% because I couldn’t live without it!  It was like a newborn child to me.  I had to carry it everywhere with me.  I downloaded more and more apps.  I played so many games every evening while making dinner, while washing dishes, before going to bed, at breakfast the next day.  I believe I am missing about two months of my life….all in playing games.  I just kept playing new games and marvelling at what my itty bitty machine could do.  Absolutely fascinated!  Riveted!  This was definitely the adult version of Atari (lost about 6 months of my life playing that as a child).

So it was that about a month ago, I suddenly woke up from my electronic revery wondering where I was and what had happened.  How did winter come and go without my even noticing?  It was then that I decided to review my downloaded apps and came to the conclusion that I needed my life back.  As such, I vanquished many of my game choices to the app graveyeard and found that I could still continue to function without my iPhone being holstered to my side. 

However, I am not immune to the enticing commercials that show me how wonderfully exciting and enriching my life could be if I only owned  _________ (fill in desired electronic gizmo of choice).  The first thing I do after I have been sold on how much I need this new gizmo, is that I invite the kids over for sunday lunch.  It really is a two-sided invitation:   1) I get to cook up a storm of wonderful foods that they will happily devour and 2) I get to have them explain to me, in simple kindergarten terms, what these new amazing portable adventure units can do. 

After lunch, the three of them (The Wiz, The Debater, The Princess) gently guide me to a comfortable seat, in case I swoon from being overwhelmed by information.  They start explaining and I get the deer-in-the-headlight look.  After they slowly explain everything and show me examples,I just sit there in awe and amazement.  It really seems like a miracle to me to see what new things have been created and what these gadgets can do.  It also gives me something new to wish for…besides shoes.

My 17 month old granddaughter likes to play with my iPhone.  She knows how to pick the app.  She knows how to play the app.  She knows how to get out of the app.  Wiseguy (my hubby) got the newer iPhone recently.  He got it with the indestructible manly protector case.  He learned how to turn it on.  He learned how to turn it off.  Then it happened.  HE got the look.  You know, deer…headlights.  I know it well.  So I did what any intelligent and supportive wife would do.  I took the iPhone out of his hands and put it directly in the hands of the 17 month old.  She could set it up for him.    : )