My work is interesting to me so it is not easy to get away from it. Other things I do have to be either urgent or equally interesting. I am trying many means, read a good novel, write my blog, exercise out of the house, work in the yard, taking Nicholas to his soccer game...... Last Saturday was one day I relaxed very well.
In the morning, I set up a few models for running at work via remote desktop, and scanned through a dozen resumes for a job opening at my group, before taking Nicholas to his soccer game. At the soccer field, I talked to his coach and other soccer parents briefly and then started walking around the park before the game even started. I left the field because I could not resist coaching from sideline even though I am not the coach any more, which is as exhausting as being the coach. The Carpenter Park of Plano, where the field is located, is a recreation park, it has many soccer fields, one baseball field and a recreation center. I walked briskly around the perimeter of the park, slowed down to watch a game in a nearby field momentarily, observed neighborhood houses, looking up at the blue sky from time to time - which has been a rarity this year. I did not think about anything, just let myself assimilated into this lively morning at the park. After two laps, I went back to the field about 5 minutes before the game was over. Less than 30 seconds at the sideline, I started coaching, telling our boys "staying in your position!", "defense!" "pressure the ball!" - Fortunately the game was over soon, and our team won for the first time this season.
After lunch, I went to backyard to take down the stair tower to our swing set, which was ant infested. I was totally focused on the task at hand - checking the structure to see how to dismantle it efficiently, matching wrenches to the various sizes of bolts, cranking the wrench to unscrew the screws repetitively more than 50 times .... It was hard physical work. Lily came to help after she took Justin to dentist's office, Justin and Nicholas wanted to help as well, but I kept them away due to potential hazards from falling woods, moving saw or a swinging hammer. Lily and I worked together in the backyard for a couple of hours, chatting on and off about maintenance of the house - not worrying about anything else - not work, not research, not kids' grades .... Just on completion of this simple project before dark. When we were done, we were really physically exhausted but felt total relaxation mentally - refreshed. We slept very well that night as well.
Simple physical work, such as this or other yard work helps me to unwind mentally every time. Last Saturday we had a lot more twosome time than usual - which was a weclome byproduct. That night, we decided to indulge ourselves a bit more, we watched a movie together after putting the boys into the beds.
Note: 1) the first picture was taken during a practice, not the game.
2) the portion of the swing set that was taken down was not visible from the second picture. The picture was taken last summer.