Pulling on the Elephant’s Tail

Many times, we have need to take a breather from the responsibilities in our world.  Our wives might go to a day spa, get a new hair style, handbag or whatever, since those aren’t our style we need to find unique methods to decompress.  Once that happens, we can come back into the room, pull the elephants tail and get back into the fight for our family. How do you decompress?


Here are some quick and easy ideas:

  1. Music – buy a new cd, and listen to it at a volume comfortable to you.  A staffer likes to pop AC/DC into his cd player and turn it up as far as they can.  The pounding beat helps him relax in ways that a lot of us wish we could mirror.
  2. Hobby – pursue a new hobby, start a hobby that you had as a kid.  Recently this author had the opportunity to talk to someone who started building model cars as a kid.  When he was a teen he switched to driving and working on the real thing.  Now as a father, he has taken up the model building again.  He finds the tedium of sorting parts, reading instructions and placing the components together therapeutic.  He builds some incredible models that look anything but plastic.
  3. Museum – Tour a museum.  Take time out of your day to go to a museum.  While it may seem unorthodox, you could couple one of these visits with a tour for your child’s class.  Typically this happens in grades one through five.  Volunteer to be a parent chaperone, and you can catch a free ride as well.  While this doesn’t give you complete respite from caring for your child, it does allow you to interact with other adults, and not be solely responsible for your child’s care.
  4. Build something – take time to go to the lumber yard and engage someone in a conversation about building a toy box.  Typically the owner can direct you to someone in the community who does that kind of thing, and/or can make the introduction.  Once an introduction has been made, ask that person if they would be willing to help you learn how to build a toy box for your child.
  5. Outdoor activity – Nothing is more relaxing than spending time in the outdoors.  If you aren’t sun sensitive or something of that nature, take your day outside, weather permitting of course, unless severe weather relaxes you.  Go fishing, mow the lawn, take a nature hike at a park.  In the fall, knock on a farmer’s door and ask if you can help for a couple of days free of charge. Explain that you are looking for a break from your normal routine and wanted to see what a day in the life of a farmer was like.  Guaranteed, you will get an eye opener, if the farmer works livestock such as pigs or cows, your sinuses will get a work out as well.
  6. Journal – take some time before bed to journal your day.  What did you do?  Who did you see?  Did you discover some new method of cleaning gum from carpet?  Create a new way to get peas out of a sinus cavity?  Your day was filled with activity of some kind, write it down.  Organize your thoughts.  Document the good and bad in each day.  A year from now, you can look back at today and remember the successes, and you can also try to remember the failures.  Highlight the successes in your child’s life with a color that is specific to that child.  Blue for Jessee because she is always looking at the sky, green for Luke who is interested in trees, or yellow for James because he likes to play with dandelions.  Use your imagination.  When your child is old enough, you can share the book with him or her and show them how much their lives and them as people  mean to you.

Do you have other ideas about ways to decompress so that you can step back into the room and pull on the elephant’s tail?

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