Discovery of wayward marbles leads to thoughts of relaxation

If I learned anything over spring break, it’s that I take things way too seriously. Just like my two previous spring breaks, I went to New York with a group of people who are, when it comes down to it, hard to describe.

So, for the sake of space, I’m going to refer to them as my non-family family. We had a running joke that this trip had turned out to be far more educational than we planned, and it really was.

It all started on our second day in the city, when we were all tired of walking in the rain. We wanted to do something inside so the weird misty rain couldn’t make our collective bad mood plummet any more than it already had.

We went to the “Bodies” exhibit – it’s been traveling around the U.S. for some time now, and it features a bunch of real human cadavers and information about the human body. Besides being really disgusting, it was cool.

That’s where I became aware that I’m pretty sure it’s chemically impossible for me to relax. I’m always worrying about something, which is probably why I’m always so grumpy.

Somewhere between the skeletal and muscular systems, my non-family family and I – there were five of us – challenged each other to a little game that was set up in the exhibit.

The two players had to put on this retro sensor headband thing and sit down across from each other at a table, which had a white marble in the middle of it. Then the players had to out-relax each other. The headbands measured the players’ brain waves, and the marble gravitated toward the less relaxed player. When the marble landed in the opponent’s goal, the more relaxed player won.

It probably took close to half an hour for all of us to get through the game, and I only got to play one round before I was out. Yep, that white marble gravitated toward me quicker than I did to Richard Gere when I discovered he was in the same theatre as me.

I lied – I didn’t actually see Richard Gere. But he was in the same theatre as me, along with Brad Paisley and Don Cheadle and Paula Abdul. I saw her.

But I digress. Maybe I lost because I knew the other three members of my non-family family were watching me, and that made me nervous; or maybe it was because I was looking forward to the Thai food we were going to eat after the exhibit. But whatever the case, I was physically unable to relax.

That’s when it dawned on me that the game actually said a lot about me. A lot of not-good things. I do worry a lot, and even when I give myself whole days to relax, it’s never enough.

I, who strive to be the best at everything I do – the ultimate winner – am incapable of taking a figurative chill pill.

I thought about this as I walked through the reproductive and endocrine systems. And again last night as I went to get tickets to the March 23 midnight – OK, 12:01 – showing of “The Hunger Games,” and was slightly enraged to see that it’s already sold out in Erie.

I need to be able to push that marble to the other side of the table with my powerful relaxation skills. I need to chill and realize that the 12:02 showing is only one minute after the 12:01.

And I need to go on educational adventures with my non-family family much, much more often.

 

KELLY MORELAND

[email protected]