This week’s Talkin’ about it Thursday should be a fun topic: Your favorite place to relax. I knew immediately that I would write about the cabin we go to each June. I love everything about it.

But after reading the two other entries (only two, by the way? Shows how few moms take time to relax.), I am sad. Both of the women have relaxing places they can go to daily, or at least weekly. Ginny has a favorite chair at a favorite coffee shop. Barbie has a worship space at her church (also one in her home but try to keep the kids out. yeah right). I have no place to relax on a regular basis. So I’m going to write about that instead because I need to get it out.

Before I lost my job, I was a member of our community center. I went to Pilates class there twice a week for quite a while and then took my time in the locker room getting showered and dressed, sometimes even sitting there reading for a few minutes. Or if I missed class, I would read while riding a stationary bike. These things were relaxing AND good for my body. But these memberships aren’t cheap and it was the first thing to go when our income was cut by .. oh .. 100%.

When I was working, I’d go to the local coffee shop during a break about once a week. It was just walk there with a friend, buy coffee, walk back and drink it at my desk. But somehow it was relaxing. Something about a short walk, the smell of a coffee shop, a few minutes adult conversation.

This spring I was going to a chiropractor regularly for my frequent headaches. One added perk was that every adjustment came with time in the massage chair, with electodes stimulating four problem spots on my back. This was soooooooo wonderful. But at a $40 copay per treatment, these also had to go when I lost my job. (Not to mention I also lost our insurance and would have had to pay even more than that because I didn’t know whether the state would accept us for Medicaid.)

Back when I was nursing Connor, my daily trips to the Mother’s Room were also relaxing. I got to sit in a super comfortable chair, alone, where it was quiet and either just close my eyes or read a magazine.

Now I have none of these things. It has been replaced with being in my house virtually all of the time. I leave to take Grace to school and pick her up; to take her to gymnastics, where I spend the whole time keeping Connor out of the gym; to take her to Faith Formation class and attend the parent portion of the evening; maybe to go grocery shopping; to go to Mass. Somehow even my monthly volunteering gig has fallen by the wayside.

Yes, it’s possible to relax in your own house. But like Barbie, I have found that to be more of a theory than a reality. Even when locked in my room, I can hear Mark yelling at the kids when they misbehave, can hear the kids running up and down the stairs, can hear them pounding on my door because they want to come in. Sound relaxing?

So my favorite place to relax is … well, I guess I’ll let you know when I find one.

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