Tag Archives: relaxation

10 Hours Of Ron Swanson Drinking Lagavulin Whiskey By Fire: You’re Welcome

Let’s be honest. We’re all sick of news about pandemics, social distancing, mounting death tolls, and incompetent politicians. I’d say we’re all a bit stir crazy, but I fear that would be understating it.

It’s times like this when it helps to find some unique method of relaxation. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It doesn’t even have to make much sense. If it helps you relax, then go for it. Embrace it. Do what you can to cope with this objectively awful situation.

To that end, I offer you my new favorite video for relaxation. It just happens to be the manliest kind of relaxation imaginable. It’s a full 10 hours of Nick “Ron Swanson” Offerman drinking whiskey by a roaring fire. It’s as amazing as it sounds.

You’re welcome.

Leave a comment

Filed under Parks and Recreation, Uplifting Stories

Sounds Of Relaxation (And Productivity)

Let’s face it. There are a lot of distractions and I’m not just talking about cat videos, Baby Yoda memes, or FaceBook feeds. The world is a noisy, chaotic place. That’s just life in general. Finding peace and quiet can be difficult, especially if you want to work on something.

In college, I lived in an all-male dorm for a few years. It didn’t just get noisy. I heard sounds in those dorms that I can never unhear. I also smelled things I can never unsmell, but that’s beside the point.

Despite these distractions, I did manage to stay productive. I wrote many short stories, novels, and essays for my own enjoyment. It wasn’t easy with so many distractions. Thankfully, I discovered a useful tool that I’d like to share. It’s called brown noise.

It’s kind of what it sounds like. It’s just a steady flow of noise that you can play on your computer or phone that helps block out any external noise. In college, I had it as a two-hour MP3. Today, there are 10-hour YouTube videos that do the same and I can consider them a godsend. They help create this private domain in which I can focus, work, and conjure all sorts of ideas for novels and short stories.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you to give it a try. If you have an internet connection and a good pair of headphones, it’s completely free. Here’s a video of the noise I often use when I write.

If you want something that sounds a bit more natural, then try rain. It’s also great if you’re trying to nap in the middle of the day.

A few variations even incorporate thunder, which some find relaxing. One of my old roommates used to use that while studying.

If you need something with a bit of a rhythm, try a little light jazz music. While this has never worked well for me, I know some people who just need music to stay focused.

These aren’t the only sounds that can help with relaxation or productivity. I encourage everyone to experiment a little. Go on YouTube and find different videos. Eventually, you’ll find something that gets your mind in the right place and your world will be richer because of it.

Leave a comment

Filed under health, Jack Fisher's Insights

Little Things That Make My Saturdays More Satisfying

As kids, we love Saturdays because it means no school, cartoons, and extra time with friends.

As adults, we love Saturdays because it means no work, no commuting, and extra time with friends and family.

The appeal is similar. It just manifests in different forms. Those who have to work on Saturdays appreciate it even more. I know this because one of my first jobs out of college was working at a company that required weekend shifts. Trust me. When you have to lose part of your weekend for the sake of your job, you feel it. At the same time, it helps you appreciate everyone who makes that sacrifice.

I don’t have that job anymore, but I’m glad I had that experience. I don’t take Saturdays for granted anymore. It made those little things that make the weekends great feel more meaningful. For those reading this, even if it’s not on a Saturday morning, I encourage you to embrace those little things as well.

To help in that effort, I’d like to share some of those meaningful moments that help make my Saturdays so rewarding. If you have moments of your own that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. These are just some of mine and I’m sure I’ll find more as I get older, especially when I meet that special someone.

Little Thing #1: Having a nice cup of coffee while reading comics on my iPad.

Little Thing #2: Wearing my soft plush bath robe (and nothing else).

Little Thing #3: Lying in bed naked and stretching my limbs.

Little Thing #4: Randomly watching an old episode of “Rick and Morty” or “The Simpson.”

Little Thing #5: Having breakfast with my friend, a sibling, or one of my awesome parents.

Little Thing #6: Having a cup of cocoa and marshmallows (especially when it’s freezing cold).

Little Thing #7: Randomly watching one of my favorite movies.

Little Thing #8: Cooking an overly elaborate breakfast for myself.

Little Thing #9: Creating a random playlist on my phone and listen to music while playing puzzle games in my iPad.

Little Thing #10: Putting on a pair of underwear that came straight out of the dryer (seriously, try this).

Little Thing #11: Going for an extended jog along the local trails.

1 Comment

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights

Life Lessons From My Father: Hard Work And Relaxing

father-son-1030x579

Last month, I helped celebrate Mother’s Day by telling a personal story that revealed just how awesome my mother is. I’m proud of that story. I can also confirm that my mother read it and sent her loving appreciation that same day. She really is that sweet and I’m eternally grateful to have a parent like her.

With Father’s Day being tomorrow, it’s my father’s turn. It’s also yet another excuse to talk about how awesome my parents are and I’m not going to pass that opportunity up. Like my mother, my father is incredible and I owe so much to him. His love and support has helped me become the man I am today.

There are a lot of stories I could tell about my father. I’ve already recounted a few. There are plenty I can tell that help affirm why he’s such an awesome dad. Rather than select one, I’d like to focus on a particular lesson he taught me growing up that I didn’t appreciate until I was an adult. Since I know he reads this site too, I think he’ll agree that it’s a critical lesson that can be difficult for many.

Almost as critical as this.

It has to do with hard work and relaxation. They’re two conflicting forces, but both are critical to surviving in this chaotic world. We need to work hard if we’re going to get ahead and forge the life we want in this world. You could argue that this has become more difficult, but there’s definitely a place for it in every society.

On the other side of that coin is relaxation. That’s something we all need just as much. After all, what’s the point of working so hard if you don’t take any time to enjoy it? Relaxation isn’t just important for a good work/life balance. It’s critical to our health. As it just so happens, my dad knew how to do both.

My father, for much of his life, was a hard worker who didn’t hesitate to get his hands dirty. He didn’t just sit at a desk. He actually went out into the world, working with people and braving the elements. He was also an early riser. He was almost always the first one up in the house. At 5:00 a.m. he was out of bed. By 5:30, he was dressed and ready to leave.

As a kid, I didn’t understand that kind of work ethic. Both my parents worked, but I saw that as just something adults do. Even after I learned about making money, paying taxes, and building a career, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. I’ve only come to appreciate it more as I got older.

My dad had a tough job, but he never came home looking miserable and angry. He did come home exhausted many times, but not to the point where he carried himself like a Dilbert cartoon. He seemed to take genuine pride in his work. It fulfilled him in a way that showed in how he conducted himself. He had a poise and strength to him, which he still carries to this day.

However, it’s how he managed to relax after all that hard work that has resonated with me in recent years. Part of that is due to how uptight and high-strung I was as a teenager. When I got home from school, I didn’t relax as much as I did dread what I might face the next day. If that sounds like an unhealthy attitude, that’s because it is and it caused me plenty of problems.

What I looked like on a good day.

My dad’s attitude was very different. When he got home from work, he didn’t get anxious or uptight about the next day. He just grabbed a bag of peanuts, opened a bottle of beer, and watched a baseball game while sitting on the couch. He watched a lot of other things too, but he always seemed most relaxed while watching baseball.

I often watched with him. I even helped him crack the peanuts. They’re among some of my favorite memories as a kid, watching baseball with my dad and eating peanuts. I didn’t do it quite as often when I was a teenager and I honestly believed that contributed to the misery I endured during those tumultuous times.

My dad understood those issues, much more than I gave him credit for. He often boiled things down to something that seemed too simple. He would tell me to just take it easy, relax, and appreciate things in the here and now, be it a baseball game or a “Simpsons” re-run. Me being the whiny kid I was, I just rolled my eyes at him. Looking back on it, I realize there was more to his advice.

My dad knew how to keep things simple back then. He still knows to this day and I marvel at his ability to streamline things that seem so complicated. To him, relaxation and hard work didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can work hard all day and still relax once you got home. It sounds so obvious, but people find ways to mess it up.

Some feel like if they’re not working hard, then they’re doing something wrong

Some feel like if they’re not relaxing, then they must be miserable and broken.

Some feel like if they try to do both, then one undermines the other.

I certainly bought into that, even after I went to college. For a while, I made work the center of everything. If I wasn’t working on something school-related, I was making other projects for myself. Relaxing just meant resting so that I had the energy I needed to do more work. It’s as unhealthy as it sounds and I think both my parents understood that.

I admit it took a long time for my dad’s advice to sink in. With each passing year, I appreciate how skilled he was at balancing hard work with relaxation. He always came off as calm, strong, and balanced. When things got tough, he kept a level head. When everyone else was stressed out, he remained the most composed. He was clear, direct, and concise with every word he said.

Those aren’t just the marks of a great father. They’re traits of a great man, in general. My father set a high bar and if I’m being honest, I still struggle to match it most of the time. I’ve gotten a lot better at balancing work with relaxation over the years, but I feel like I made it much harder than it should’ve been. My dad was there every step of the way, giving me real, usable advice. I just didn’t embrace it.

I might have been a slow learner with respect to work/life balance, but that only helps me appreciate my father even more, especially on Father’s Day. No matter how old I get, he keeps finding ways to be awesome. He never runs out of things to teach me, whether it involves relaxing or how to make the perfect pasta sauce. There’s so much I’ve learned from him and I’m a better man because of it.

Thanks, Dad. Seriously.

I’ll always be grateful for having such an amazing father. I admit I didn’t always make it easy for him, but he never hesitated to love me and support me as any father would. Whether I’m working hard or relaxing on a hot summer day, his influence helps me become the man I strive to be.

To my father and all the other dedicated dads out there, thank you for your love and support. Happy Father’s Day! You’ve worked so hard for your kids. Today, you can take a moment to relax and reflect on just how awesome you are.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, men's issues, noble masculinity, psychology, Uplifting Stories

Traffic, Holidays, And Recoveries

There are a lot of ways to kill a mood, be it sexy or otherwise. With the holidays drawing to a close, you have fewer and fewer reasons to be cheerful and upbeat. Plus, you have fewer excuses to wear ugly Christmas sweaters and Santa hats. I’ve yet to spend a day wearing either of those and not come home in a good mood.

For some, there are certain things that’ll kill a mood faster than anything that doesn’t involve projectile vomit, hangovers, and sick puppies. I certainly have my share of those things. Some of those things involve experiences that make me want to take a hammer to the nearest Home Depot and smash all the windows in frustration.

I say all this as a preface because as I write this, I am so goddamn burned out that I just want to sleep for the next three days. Why am I so burned out? Well, there’s a damn good reason for it.

As I announced before, I spent a good chunk of my Christmas at the Jersey Shore with family. It’s a tradition of sorts and a damn good one. I had a great time with friends and family. We had every kind of holiday fun you can have with your pants on. That part of the experience wasn’t the problem.

The problem came yesterday when I drove back home. Now usually, a drive to and from the Jersey Shore is about three-and-a-half hours, depending on weather and traffic. That’s about how long it took to get up there. On the way back though, it was a very different story.

There was so…much…traffic. Like a post-Christmas hangover, minus the fun of being drunk, it hit me like sleigh full of cinder-blocks and baseball bats. It turned what is usually a fairly scenic and uneventful drive into a six-and-a-half hour case-study in break lights. There aren’t many better ways to kill a mood and wound your spirit in a way that doesn’t involve solitary confinement or slow wi-fi speeds. This did way too good a job of that.

Now I know there are plenty of traffic horror stories out there. I’m sure there are those who can handle a six-and-a-half hour drive the same way most people handle a hangnail. For me, however, it left me restless, moody, and badly in need of an extra day of rest. I tried to go to bed early last night. It didn’t work. For reasons that make me think that one too many people cussed me out on the road, I was just too damn restless.

So I guess this counts as a day of recovery. I did plan on doing some extra writing, reading some comics, and enjoying what’s left of my holiday vacation. I’m going to have to revise those plans. I’m also going to need to find better ways of dealing with traffic.

If anybody out there has any tips that makes the recovery easier, I’d love to hear them. I’d also love to hear how the hell you’re supposed to sleep when you’re more restless than a rabbit on crack. I’m going to try comics, hot chocolate, and whiskey. That’s all I have on hand, but if anyone has any other tips, please share. Today must be a day of rest. Then, I can go back to talking about sexier, less stressful topics.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized