Finding Zen in a Hammock

By Katiedid Langrock

January 28, 2017 5 min read

I am the proud owner of a new hammock. This bad boy can rock out at 85 swings her minute. It has sleek orange parachute-grade nylon fabric with a sexy yet whimsical red trim. Boasting its superior strength, my hammock easily supports up to 400 pounds, perfect for snuggles or cheeseburgers. It's triple-stitched, y'all. Reinforced inner core. Ropes. Tree straps. Stainless steel carabiner. This sweet sack is capable of taking even the most stressed-out person from zero to 60 oms in 2.5 seconds. Now that's some serious Zen power.

I love my hammock. It's everything I dreamed it would be. When we moved into the wild, one of the first things I did was case our property for trees that would be the appropriate length apart for gentle swaying. I thought about the hammock. I obsessed over the hammock. I studied my options, questioned fellow tree-sack owners and created a list of pros and cons, weighing whether I wanted a more permanent fixture or one I could take camping. I made an Excel sheet of my top choices. At last. I knew the hammock I desired.

But I didn't buy it. Months passed. I went to Amazon.com nearly daily to buy things for our new life in the wild, but I always stopped short of purchasing the hammock. There it remained in my cart, chronically abandoned. It was as if somehow I didn't think I deserved the utter luxury of a triple-stitched, double-seamed, parachute-grade, full-bodied snuggle sway sack. I hadn't earned it yet.

It was booking my first customer for the writers retreat I hold on the property that inspired the purchase. The hammock wasn't for me; it was for the writer. But naturally, of course, I would have to test-drive it — just to make sure it's safe.

I took the Amazon parcel out to my chosen trees, pulled out the hammock and hung it from the trees. Well, tree. I hung it from the one tree. The other was too far away. Rookie mistake. After purchasing a rope and extending the hammock by a foot, the hammock, at last, hung from the trees. It was a beautiful sight.

I slipped inside and gently swayed. Took a deep breath. Absorbed the nature around me. Allowed my mind to wander, to fantasize. And in that glorious moment, I realized that perhaps, just perhaps, I hadn't ordered the hammock earlier because somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it would turn me into a bad person.

Immediately, I began getting agitated. Without a way to busy my own body, I needed to busy someone else's body. Besides, how could I possibly relax if I wasn't fully engaged in relaxation protocol? Where was my husband? Didn't he know I needed food after that exhausting two minutes of hanging the hammock? Something light, such as grapes — fed to me so I wouldn't have to exhaust myself further. And being fanned would be nice. What, did he expect the wind to do all the work? And is it really too hard to get the cabana boy — er, husband — to make a pitcher of piña coladas? I mean, is it really that hard? I cursed the hammock for not having a bell. How was I going to get the attention of the cabana boy — I mean husband? Sure, I could call or text him, but that would require interacting with technology, and you know I can't both relax and move my fingers at the same time! Is the world just out to get me?

I considered that perhaps I don't have the mental fortitude needed to own a hammock.

My husband likes to make fun of me because I always say I want to take a relaxing vacation. Nothing but beach and booze. But I am incapable of doing it. I need the chaos, the running after trains, the setting up tents, the 20,000 steps on my pedometer.

I love my hammock because it provides relaxation-in-training. Even my demands to the cabana boy — I mean husband (I really have to stop doing that!) — came from the need to be doing something. If I can master just simply swaying in the breeze, maybe a vacation to Hawaii is possible. It will probably take daily practice to get there. Poor me.

Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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