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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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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:11:31 PM PST

  •  When I take a break from Daily Kos, I usually (7+ / 0-)

    head over to Facebook for a while. /snark

    But seriously, in taking a break from (or recovering from) actual activism or from being online talking about activism, I read. I always have a book going, but when I take a break, I read. A lot.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:21:30 PM PST

    •  Yes, a good book is a blessed escape. (8+ / 0-)

      Throw in a fire on a cold night, a comfy sofa, and the smell of something in the oven as you turn the pages, and you're pretty close to heaven, imo. I always think for all the things I won't have time to do in life, for all the places I'll never get to, I can at least read myself there.

      My thoughts are with you commonmass and hoping. I'm so impressed with the way you've let the community help, stayed engaged, and made every effort, in this difficult time, to "pay it forward."  Yes, I've seen your recent comments here comforting others, during this difficult time for you.

      I wish for you, any small joy that makes these days just a nano bite better.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:34:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gosh This List Could Get Long (4+ / 0-)

    I play with technology. I read books, you know those printed on paper. I ride my mountain bike a lot. Right now my biggest solace is my bike.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:26:26 PM PST

    •  Yep. Isn't it just great when you realize (3+ / 0-)

      how long the list could get? Not a bike person anymore, but I remember the freedom of just two wheels and one's effort from my childhood. Going uphill was tough, muscles screaming,  sweating, maybe cursing that hill... but the downside was so great, the wind drying your sweat, legs stuck straight out, just enjoying the ride.  A lot like life in general.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:39:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Playing guitar with James Brown records (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay

    And reading Tolstoy.

    At the same time.

    With beer.

    Right now, it's this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around." -- GWF Hegel

    by Fatherflot on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:40:08 PM PST

    •  Makes Me Thing Of Smoking Pot In Grad School (0+ / 0-)

      and reading 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:49:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  James Brown and Tolstoy... (0+ / 0-)

      now that's a unique brew before you even get to the beer.

      I wish I played an instrument, seems it would be such a great catharsis.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:52:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Talked About Going For A Walk (4+ / 0-)

    I learned that from my parents going for a walk almost daily. I work for myself, out of my house. Any day that I don't like I go for a walk. Sometimes miles. Often just around the block. Always clears my head.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:40:13 PM PST

  •  Step away from the computer! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, CA wildwoman, sayitaintso

    Sometimes when I have been too deep for too long on line activist stuff, I make a point of assuring that I can't under any circumstances connect on line for most of a day.

    We concluded a huge campaign on Tuesday (121 day public comment period about the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point WA), celebrated on Friday evening, and then Saturday I had a full full day skiing.  I was hoping for a backcountry day, but we assessed that conditions were not safe enough so we settled for skiing the lifts and it was still great.

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Wells, CA wildwoman

      Computers are so enticing, and I speak with particular conviction at this time because after 10 years, I just got a new computer.  It's so fast and amazing, I'm having a ball with it.

      But the novelty will wear off.  And I know I'll land where I always do---which is that life off the internet is so much bigger, no matter how big the internet is.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:49:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just a damn good cup of coffee (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, denise b, CA wildwoman, allenjo

    Usually a fresh ground Italian roast, with a splash of French Vanilla flavored creamer, in a classic black and cream colored diner cup I've had for about 35 years.

    "Teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for a life. Don’t feed fish." - Future President Paul Ryan

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:52:41 PM PST

    •  I love this, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fordmandalay, CA wildwoman

      right down to every detail, including the precisely right cup...one with the right feel and a good long history.

      Not expensive, not difficult, discouraging or unpredictable.  Just a solid little joy.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:56:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  áthas mór Big Joy (3+ / 0-)

    This is the scene my very recently departed mother long ago said she hoped our first night in Heaven might be like.

    Pints on the table included. Screaming lunatics everywhere, beer, and music.

    And music that wasn't only joyous, it could change to stormy too. Even in heaven. Heaven ain't stupid.

    God love ya Goosemom. Save me and my squeezebox a room at the table.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:58:22 PM PST

    •  You play a squeeze box? (0+ / 0-)

      Fun.  Thanks for the clip.  Woke me right up this morning, before my coffee could even do the trick.  Lovely.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:40:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I go out for coffee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay

    I just like to start the day like that. I started doing it in high school and I've been doing it every day for almost 50 years now.

    It was always a minor extravagance that I could afford. Now, for the first time, I'm making up a tight budget and it's staring me in the face looking like a pretty major extravagance. But I'll give up a lot of other things before I give it up.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:19:15 PM PST

  •  music (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay

    i recently watched an interview on tcm, can't remember his name right now, a black actor, now middle aged, but played the skinny adorable kid (who suddenly gets killed and we all stop laughing) on the boat in Apocalypse Now

    he said that music is for the soul

    it's always reached into me at a level that feels very connected to the cosmos, but i wouldn't have known how to say it in such a utterly complete way

    •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

      Music IS for the soul.  A song can take you so many places, away from the one you don't want to be in.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:42:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  walk down to the river. walk along the river (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay

    head home for a hot drink -- tea w. milk and honey, cocoa, coffee only when needed

    soak in a bubble bath with a good book.

    In Jersey,  we usually head to the ocean in times of mental and spiritual stress. But for the little things,  a river works for me.  I recently tried using a pond for a short session and it worked, tho maybe not for a real crisis.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:45:28 AM PST

    •  I so identify with this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sayitaintso

      The water draws me and soothes me.  Every summer we head up to a place on Lake Michigan, might not be an ocean, but it looks like one.  I only have to be there an hour to feel my shoulders lower and my whole being at peace.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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