Maybe this is your version of relaxation

…or this

I love the German word for relaxation: Entspannung

These clever Germans take relaxation very seriously. They work hard, but also take their time to relax. Take Sundays for example. With no stores open and noise restrictions in place, the Germans have no choice but to relax. Which I think is brilliant. Relaxation, in my opinion, is something everyone should do at some point every day. We owe it not only to ourselves, but to our family and friends who love us. Taking time to relax makes us feel better, and as a result, we are kinder to others.

Once in awhile I go to this back and neck stretching class on Fridays at the gym. When I first went, I felt like an intruder, as the room was mainly filled with older people. I kept waiting for someone to ask me to leave. But, even though the class was not my normal lift- weights- ‘till- you- scream- nasty- words -at –the- instructor kind of course, I was glad I went and wondered why only the older folk were so smart to be there. For those of us that sit at computers all day for work (or pleasure), a stretching class for your back and neck at the end of the week is wonderful. And, this class has an added perk of a little sleep at the end. Now, how perfect is that?

I managed to go to the class last Friday. After a week of doing the single parent thing, I needed the little sleep more than anything. Next time though, I will make a point of not choosing the spot next to the child-care room where I can hear a bunch of kids screaming at each other (including mine). Anyway, as I was getting my mat in place, I heard the instructor ask the usual beginning question if anyone was new, and suddenly realized that she was repeating herself and starting at me and I had no clue what she was saying. I thought I heard the word “Ampel” which means “traffic light” and wondered if she was saying that she drove up beside me at the stop light. When I’m nervous, I have a harder time trying to figure out what someone is saying to me in German, so to avoid delaying the class any further, I walked up to her and whispered that I speak English (and didn’t bother to mention that I know some German, as she likely wouldn’t believe me). Turns out she was just trying to tell me her name.

After the stretching and the little nap at the end, I decided to steal even more relaxing time for myself and have a sauna. I always peak in on Little T to make sure he isn’t at the door crying (which he never is) and off I went. The sauna is another place of forced relaxation – they even have a sign on the wall that reads “In der ruhe liegt die Entspannung” which translates to: “In the quietness lies the relaxation” – in other words, now is the time to just shut up. Sometimes the women talk, and I have too on occasion when joining a friend, but normally the women ask permission from others first which is respectful. I say women, as the sauna I am referring to is a ladies-only one. The men talk to each other too, as confirmed by Hubby, even asking another sauna worshiper if they are in Kindergarten. But that’s a story for another time.

The sand in the 15-minute timer was almost done falling signaling to get out of the sauna, when in came a lady from the class I was in. She asked me how hot it was in the sauna, and I excitedly told her (excited because I knew what he was asking!). She recognized me from the class and went on to tell me how great the instructor is (which I agreed) and said something I didn’t quite catch which was my cue to let on that my Deutsch ist nicht gut. She asked where I was from, and her eyes lit up when I told her I was from Canada (which is the usual reaction I get, which is such an honour).

She then went on to tell me about a niece of hers that leaves in Canada when I suddenly started to feel rather parched and light headed as my Sauna time was long up. I really enjoyed speaking with her, as she actually understood what I was saying, and for the most part, I understood her! But, I knew if I didn’t leave soon, I would pass out. And, that wouldn’t be pretty. So, I croaked out an apology, and wanted to scream Hallelujah! when I opened the door and felt the rush of cool air and found my water bottle. It was maybe not the most relaxing way to end a sauna experience, but I was grateful for meeting the lady who wanted to chat with me.

And then I took Little T to McDonalds. Believe me, no Entspannug there.

One thought on “Relax!

  1. but a good cappucino right? at the golden arch?…ahhh…u just made me want to take my time and go to the gym at night tonight instead of lunch..that way I can take my time for Entspannung in der Sauna……


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