Monday, August 27, 2007

The Enforcer

To relax fully is a true art; it can be learned, for those to whom it does not come naturally; nevertheless, it is a continual study and the lessons can easily be forgotten or presumed no longer necessary.

I am one of those people who is not very good at relaxing. Not that I am not good at having fun; in fact, the whole having-fun business is a predominant reason as to why I need to relax better. I am convinced of both nature and nurture’s part in this, seeing my parents in action as I have for 28 years or so. Still, no blame attached; in this respect, I am my health & sanity’s worst enemy.

Therefore, TOH and I booked a holiday with the express intention of relaxing and having a genuine break, much to the chagrin of F&F (friends and family) who were mildly offended that we breezed into town last week and gave them a “tonight or else” ultimatum to spend a few hours in our company. It would be worth it, we reckoned, to peeve a few of the esteemed and beloved F&F if a break meant that we would not get quite so devastatingly exhausted this semester.

Nonetheless, we gave ourselves a torturous journey here (eight hours on plane London to JFK; eight hours layover in JFK; five hours to Mexico City then another nine hours layover). In fact, we managed to fit in a trip to the Z√≥calo, the main plaza in Mexico City/D.F. while we were there and saw quite possibly the best flag-raising ceremony ever (as well as some Aztec ruins, the usual stuff slapbang in the middle of a giant conurbation). So, although we tried to convince ourselves that it wasn’t really the start of the holiday, we were already deviating from the plan of DOING NOTHING.

However, luckily, fate stepped in. I come from a family of not just an inability to take things easy and relax when necessary, but also weak backs, also on both maternal & paternal sides, and that genetic heritage came to the fore within 24 hours of arriving. On a morning exploratory stroll, before you could say “ooh, me lumbago!” I had had, for want of a better word, a spasm.

Some may not consider this a good thing, but in fact, as I was able to manoeuvre myself about a bit, it has been (at time of writing this, Tuesday evening) a bit of a blessing in disguise. The pain has not been fun, ‘tis true, but in fact it has forced us to do what we planned to do: read a lot, swim (in the pool, not sea, but still) and sleep and catch a few rays (under SPF 30 protection, obviously). Essentially, very little. While it has been annoying to not be able to even try out surfing as of yet – and it may remain ruled out for me for the rest of the break – it feels genuinely as if there has been a mental breakthrough. Early doors, obviously, but it has been bloody great thus far. This relaxing thing is something I plan to work on, particularly if it involves sun, sea and sand – which I am sure it ought to, at any rate.

Written Tuesday, August 22nd, 2007

1 comment:

Xopo said...

Dear Grace, It sounds like a wonderful time and I am very happy you and the Dean decided to do this. I too am an early student of relaxation, so I understand what you mean. I am very happy too that you got to land on Zocalo! It's one of my favorite places. Sorry to hear about the back, though, but it looks like you made the best of it! The waves on that side of the world are too dangerous anyway...I have very specific reasons to say this and very sad evidence to prove it. The Pacific is best if enjoyed from the beach or the pool side, believe me.
I'm enjoying these little patches of your trip. Besos.