First, why I call SJ my blog buddy: She was one of the first people to notice my blog and to comment on it. She also generously offered me the use of the name "Blogasm" which she came up with, and figured I needed it since "MB's Blog" sounded too boring. And since she and I have never met in person or spoken on the phone, but only in the blogosphere (so far), I am affectionately referring to her as a blog buddy.
Second, even though I was happy to be "tagged" by SJ for this, I am just not gonna tag anyone else. But if you are reading this and wish to participate, I'd be thrilled to read about it in the comment section. I think I have the comments set up now so that anyone may comment here.
Third, here is the meme:
"List five things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play. What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level? Make a list, post it on your journal, then tag five friends and ask them to post it to theirs."
Here are my de-stressors:
1. Walk around the neighborhood with or without my dog, sometimes with my camera. I enjoy looking at the various details of the neighborhood, like architectural features, gardens, people and their pets, and cool-looking automobiles. It's a more interesting form of exercise than just walking on a track somewhere.
2. Get a professional massage. (My friend Patty does a great one.) The smells of the massage oils, the relaxing music (the type of ambient sounds that I usually get bored with, but that seem to fit perfectly with the whole massage experience) and the feeling that the masseuse is totally focused on getting the kinks out of my aching body. Some of my favorite parts to have massaged are my feet, my hands, and my scalp.
3. Watch an old movie that I've seen bunches of times just to see the scenes that I know will make me cry. I can't just skip to the scene, there has to be that build up throughout the entire movie. Some scenes that always bring tears: It's A Wonderful Life when Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey says, "Clarence, get me back"; Miracle on 34th Street (the original one with Natalie Wood as the little kid) when the post office guys start bringing all that mail for Santa Claus into the courtroom; Terms of Endearment (when Debra Winger is telling her two sons goodbye in the hospital room); and Dumbo (yes, the animated Walt Disney film) in the scene where Dumbo's mother has to be locked up and little Dumbo comes to visit her. Even though they play a kind of sappy song, Baby Mine, the expressions on the elephant's faces make me choke up and cry real tears. I cannot explain this. I also cry at the end when Dumbo is in the act with the circus clowns and finally gets up the courage to fly even though he dropped the magic feather. This kind of movie watching crying is very cathartic.
4. Put on some really funky music and DANCE!
5. Call my friend Mark S. He always makes me laugh with his corny jokes. I can't repeat any of the jokes here because they are mostly in-jokes about people we know, or they are non-PC and extremely tasteless. But Mark invariably comes up with something so funny that I laugh out loud. Repeatedly. And then I feel much better.
6. Cool soothing Ice cream or pudding, or a coffee malt, makes me feel like a carefree kid again.
7. Singing. In the shower, or along with a CD, or at choir practice. It's exercise for the soul.