How To Chill Out

Girl relaxing on the grass.


Ah, vacation…a glorious week on Cape Cod, referred to as just “the cape” to us here in Massachusetts. I packed a bag, grabbed my big jug of Carlo Rossi, and got ready to chill. No weeds, no housework, no projects, things I can’t do anyway with my foot in a boot, but have a way of making me feel bad.

Entrance sign to the RV resort

It was the second annual camping vacation where, for better or worse, the entire family gets to bond. My rental cabin was equipped with a full kitchen, 2 TVs, AC, private bedroom, AND INTERNET! Woohoo! I was all set. This is my kind of camping. Still confined to the wretched boot, I knew I couldn’t participate in most of the family activities. The beach, pool, kayaks, canoe, and even walks were all off-limits. I wasn’t worried because I had a plan. I had just purchased a great computer/blogging course and I was excited about delving into it.


I was fairly computer illiterate a year or so ago when I decided to start my blog. My laptop was used for email, Facebook, Pinterest, and shopping. Yes, especially shopping.

Microsoft word… never tried it.


Then I spent hours on YouTube trying to learn all that stuff and finally stumbled upon a fantastic course. I was going to spend a peaceful week learning and writing.


The cabin was pretty nice. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the recliner in the living room. My recovering foot would be so happy. I unpacked, got my laptop out, ensconced myself in the recliner with my foot up, and entered the password for the resort.

Nothing. No internet at all. WTF?

I was irritated.

Really irritated.

It was Saturday and I had 7 days to fill up with no computer while everyone else was out enjoying the resort. Poor me. I was feeling sorry for myself for a bit there. So how to deal with this disappointment? Learn to chill.

Okay, Ellie… breathe in, breathe out.

Then I remembered my kindle.   This is my first e-reader and I love it! My reading experience is unbelievably enhanced. I can compensate for my poor eyesight by being able to choose a font and print size that works for me.  The Kindle has meant that I can read as much as I like again, even in the dark.  


  • It’s waterproof!  You may now read in the tub, by the pool, or on the beach without worrying about ruining your reader.
  • Improved lighting system to provide more even light.
  • The flush screen is easy to clean.
  • You can now listen to your books via Bluetooth!
  • So easy to borrow and return books from the library.
  • Thin and light making it easy to hold.
  • Nice texture that doesn’t feel like it will slip out of your hand.

Cons:  None at all!  I highly recommend this reader.  Click the picture to check it out.

The weather was perfect and I had a nice deck.

My granddaughters

Then my two granddaughters asked if they could stay with me.

Things were looking up.


Can you really learn to chill? Lyn Lucas, in her article about disappointment, “Chill Candy,”describes disappointment as “what we feel when our expectations for a desired outcome are dashed.” When I thought about it, I realized that my expectations for using the internet were way too high. It was a campground, after all.

Ms. Lucas suggests these 4 things to get through a disappointing time:

  • Breathe
  • List
  • Connect
  • Think

That is exactly what I did.

First, the breathing. In my research about breathing slowly, I found that in addition to helping to deal with disappointment, it can do all this:

slow breathing

There are many online articles on how to breathe slowly and its benefits. This is a good one.

A simple technique is to breathe in slowly for a count of 4, and then breathe out for a count of 4.

But that sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, it works. 15 minutes a day is suggested. I found I was quite relaxed after 1 or 2. Try it!  We are all busy, but we can afford to spend a few minutes taking time for ourselves to relax.  For more information on breathing techniques read The Breathing Book.  Click on the picture below to check it out.

If negative thoughts try to creep in there, banish them immediately. I do this by replacing them with thoughts of people I love.

The List

While sitting there in my recliner with the useless computer, I was thinking about the things that I was grateful for.

  • I wasn’t alone. I had my family around me. And watching them have a great time was truly enjoyable.
  • Sure, I couldn’t use my computer, but I could read on my kindle. Things could be a lot worse.
  • I wasn’t doing ANY of the cooking. Thank you, guys.
  • It wasn’t raining. Thank you weather God.
  • My son rented a golf cart to tote us around. Thank you, thank you…Golf cart toting inflatables
  • I had made it through the isolation of covid-19 and then almost through the recovery from my foot surgery. Wow, not bad, right?
  • And, of course, I am always thankful for every day that I am here.


Vacationing at a campground meant that we were outside a lot. That meant connecting with nature. Our meals were cooked over an open flame and we sat around the fire to eat and poke fun at one another.

Doug and Marcy with their after dinner cigars.

While alone, I sat on the deck in the sunshine I listened to the birds and watched the leaves rustling in the breeze. Awesome.  But you don’t necessarily need to be outside in nature to feel its calming effects. Scientists have found that just looking at pictures of nature for five minutes on your computer screen can help to relax you.

But the ants! OMG, they were everywhere, outside and inside. I usually have a laisez faire attitude toward living creatures of all kinds, as I know that each plays a role in our environment. But I got to wondering, what purpose do these little nuisances serve? It turns out that they are NATURE’S JANITORS. Who knew?


I did a lot of thinking.

About how I was learning to chill, not a natural state for me. What IS natural for me is worrying and over-thinking. Seriously, I’ve got to get over that. No one wants to hang out with a wound-up, wacked-out widow.

About the wonders of nature and if I could learn to appreciate ants.

And other stuff.



Despite all that I could not do, I had a great time. And I did a lot.

And I ate A LOT and I drank a bit too.

Happy hour at the campsite“>Eating too much while camping

Took my scooter and went shopping with the girls

 Click on the picture to check it out!

This little scooter, also known as a knee walker or crutch alternative, has been making my life bearable since my foot surgery 3 months ago.  It takes me longer to do everything now than before surgery, of course, but I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if I didn’t have this scooter and had to rely on a walker.  So slow!

It comes with smooth-riding inflatable tires (you do have to keep them inflated) and a basket to carry your stuff.  It’s a lifesaver!

Lunch with the girls

Shopping with girls

Went with the family to the Wydah Pirate Museum

Wydah Pirate Museum picture

Real pirate artifacts, guys!  The gift shop was underwhelming, but the museum was great.  The kids loved it.

Kids sitting with pirate

William at Pirate Museum in pirate hat.

My grandkids taught me how to make a water bottle bomb!

Not the dangerous kind, with explosives, you make this with just a twist of the dry bottle. I don’t buy water in bottles as I am an eco-freak, but if you have some lying around, give this a try. If you have trouble, ask your kids. You’re never too old to learn something new.

I read 5 books on the kindle!  Wow, I love that thing!



Learn to chill.

Hug a tree.

Hug a person.

Hug something.

Go with the flow.



It’s not hard.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

As always, take care. You can do it!

You may read Lyn Lucas’ complete article on relaxing here.

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2 thoughts on “How To Chill Out”

  1. Sounds like you had a great time even with no internet – although did you ask why not. Thought they said it came with internet. Keep chilling!!

  2. They did say that and I’m sure that some locations could get it. If I sat on Doug’s screened porch (which was awesome) and turned the computer just so or if I got up at 5AM I could get a bit of internet. I decided that I didn’t want to spend my vacation chasing the signal. That would not have been relaxing!


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