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With all the talk about TTFNs I can't help but think how we all need to be reminded that life has always been hard, much harder for many who came before us. The world is both an ugly and beautiful place, and this site is no exception.  Seems to me in every venue from relationships to work to the internet, a certain amount of tap dancing is required. Knowing when and where to click and when to step away and smell the roses.

So in that spirit, I ask where do we all go to refresh? What can be done when politics,  being an activist, and/or this site is so vexing you feel the need to make a dramatic exit---and now that you can't without leaving permanently, what are the things to look forward to on an unannounced leave?

Because being here takes time, and one of the rewards of taking a break if you need it, is having more time for the sunnier side of life. I take little vacations all the time from politics, this site and others.  And every time I do, I find myself returning with more stability and strength for the fight.

Here are my top 5 things to do on an internet vacation.  All are small things, affordable things, little luxuries that refresh and replenish:

1. Air fresh sheets. When the world seems hopeless, I take the time to hang my washed sheets outside to dry, weather permitting. Hanging them is a joy in itself, the smell of the soap, the sun on my back, the orderly neat procession of it. It's not something you can fail at. And when I crawl into them that night, and smell the sun on my pillow, I fall asleep with hope.

2. A nice drive with my favorite CDs. I just jump in the car and drive along the river, singing along as loud as I want. Again, weather permitting, I open the windows and let the wind have its way with me.

3. I write a letter to a far away pal. Not long hand of course, wouldn't have the patience for that.  But an e-mail letter. Gives me the chance to write, which I love, and tells me things I'm thinking I didn't even know I was thinking. The act of doing so is relaxing to me, and then there's the reward of hearing back from that pal.

4. I clean out something. Closet, drawers, whatever. I get rid of stuff.  Leaves me feeling in control of something, productive and lighter. I actually consider this fun and don't make time for it often enough.  

5. I take a walk with my husband. He's not a big talker and that's the beauty of it. But it's good to feel his hand in mine and take in the neighborhood sites together.  It's so simple, doesn't cost a dime, and leaves me feeling...better.

There are so many other small joys in my life, I had to put the brakes on here so as not to bore y'all. But I tend to ignore them all when I'm in the heat of a passion, political or some driving unfair force that has me by the neck.

There's all those discussions about what people regret on their death beds. For me, I'm pretty sure it will be that I did not take in enough of life's small joys when I had the chance to.  Can't do anything about the mistakes I've made, except learn from them, which I've tried to do, but there'll always be another mistake.  

But no matter where your life report card is at, there are still those small luxuries to enjoy, to remind us our job as humans is not just to improve things, but to appreciate the beauty of that which just is.  

What are your small joys, and do you give them enough sway in your life?

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