Feet Up

By Doug Ankerman

Kick back. Tune out. Unplug. Turn off. Relaxing is as simple as that, right?

Maybe. But it helps.

Today’s totable technology makes it difficult to “get away from it all.” Laptops, cellphones, Bluetooth, iPods, WiFi…the list is longer than your power cord.

There is no escaping the news, the noise or pictures of what Sharon ordered at that Italian joint.

With MS my brain & body are frazzled enough. The buzz of mindless clutter only adds to a defragged nervous system.

As a self-proclaimed news junkie, it’s even harder for me to step away from the gear to find my blissful “chi.” But it can be done. And it may be easier than you think.

I found my oasis…on the porch. Porch, patio, deck, even an open window will do.

Just park yourself. Open your eyes & ears. And soak it in.

Nature’s “clutter.”

The birds chirping back & forth at each other. Listen to their conversations.

In the evening you might hear an owl. Or late in summer, a locust.

Watch a squirrel romp around in the yard. Or a rabbit eating your good grass.

A rainstorm is my favorite to witness. The intensity. The relief. The leaves buckling under the weight of the raindrops.

I’ll watch the cars pass too. After a while you can tell what type of vehicle is coming by the sound it makes. Someone down our street has a van with a clangy suspension. I hear them coming from a long way away. Same goes for an ice cream truck playing the same, hokey tune over a loudspeaker.

It’s my go-to place to relax. My joy. As watching a bumblebee doing its job gathering pollen is as good as it gets.

Unplug and give it a try. I welcome you to my world—er, strike that, OUR world.

Doug writes goofy stuff about MS & other topics on his humor blog at myoddsock.com

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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