The anxiety of relaxation

IMG_20130727_131528_251 What to do with free time?

The people we care for don’t like being stuck at home any more than we do. They need recreation, stimulation, relaxation and all the stuff that helps us endure life’s demands and challenges.

But the very nature of special needs can make recreational activity stressful. Lots of extra work, planning and the potential for the day to… what’s the scientific word?… suck. You can plan and plan and plan, pack and pack and pack, and any little thing can turn a lark in the park into a slog through hell.

IMG_20130727_122443_905Last weekend, we took a chance, packed a picnic and headed for one of our state parks. Even took the dog along.

It worked. Have to admit I was tense all the way there, but every blessed (literally) thing went well.

The weather was mild, unusually so for July.

The park wasn’t too crowded, and the people we encountered throughout the day were great.

The spot we found afforded both sun and shade; cool grass and warm sand.

There was a playground with swings close by; swings are one of Joey’s fastest ways to settle himself.

Joey is soothed by watching water move, and the Missouri River bank was just right.

IMG_20130727_133930_731Melissa convinced Joey to get his feet wet, and when he did he smiled.

I wish I could say that every effort at rest and refreshment turned out like this. We frequently find ourselves frazzled after what should have been a fun day.

But this one turned out well, the early anxiety evaporated, and we came home refreshed and happy.

And the dog slept well, too.

2 thoughts on “The anxiety of relaxation

  1. What a blessing! i know how you start with best intentions and preparation the likes of which normal people never have to deal with, and it all goes south in an instant. But sometimes it works.

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