Thursday, November 5, 2009

A giraffe in a plane

It is amazing how new learning’s come at the most unexpected times. Last Saturday I had a new lesson in relaxation, pillar 6 of DIY Health, at the local markets. Now Saturday can be fairly busy in our house.

There are two and sometimes three sports and most weeks it is the day for food shopping (unfortunately in Perth we are very restricted in when we can go shopping), as there is no time during the week.

Anyway we were due to start at 9am with basketball for my son. We arrived a bit before 9 and by the designated start time there were only three of our team and none of the other team and no referee.

This seemed odd. At five past I felt it was time to ask the question at the reception desk. Apparently the other team had forfeited at the last moment and the rest of our team who had arrived two minutes before us had been “headed off at the pass” and had gone off for a refreshment.

There are two choices one has in this situation. One is to get stressed, the other is to accept what is and move on to the next thing. We chose the latter.By late morning it was time for the weekly food run. We go to the local supermarket for non-perishables and to the local markets for fruit and veggies, bread and produce from the continental grocer. Now the markets are not flash (as my daughter reminds me) but the produce is good, fresh and actually cheaper than in the supermarkets.

Our last stop was to be the continental grocer as it was on the way back to the car. On the way we noticed the face painting for children was set up next to the grocer (it is usually at the other end) and you can guess what became the added stop.

Despite it being a busy lunchtime there were no takers for face painting. My daughter wanted a swan. One of the painters was trying to “sell” the idea of a painted giraffe in a plane. She had been practicing this but had no takers. “Dad “ she asked “would you like a small giraffe on a plane on your arm?” With a bit of encouragement I agreed.

On sitting down the painter said to me this is a good thing to relieve stress. This seemed an odd description of an adult having a picture painted on his arm. Then as I sat watching her paint, the penny dropped. I had been pretty much on the go all week and through Saturday. This was a chance to not only sit down but also watch an artist in action.

As the aviator giraffe formed on my forearm, I was relaxing as just watching her paint absorbed me and I stopped thinking about the other things that still needed to be done that day. It was also just “fun”. At what age did I become too old to have a fun painting on my arm? It was cute and colorful.

Watching a giraffe in a plane being painted on my arm had brought me into the present moment, allowed me to sit down and to be a kid for a while. I got up more relaxed than when I sat down. The opportunity to relax may present itself in unexpected ways. Be open to them and when they arise take the opportunity to do something that a serious adult would reject but a child would see as fun.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. You do need to take more time to see the world through your little ones eyes! I step back quite often, after being the parent, protector, care giver, food source, etc...and stop myself. I get down on the floor with my son, who turns 6 next week, and build these enormous contraptions. Read to my daughter, who is 9 1/2 and she loves the one on one time. I watch them play, fight, grow, love and still adore them as they sleep. I want to stop time as it goes by so quickly. So make that silly stop or mix things up on the kids. They do tend to love it! Be well! Carolyn