Tennis has never really been my thing, but this French term came into my sphere recently in an NPR interview with writer Christopher Clarey, who's written a biography of tennis phenom Roger Federer. My Larousse dictionary defines relâchment as "relaxing, slackening, falling off". Mr. Clarey applied it to Federer's tennis game in a more nuanced sense of everyday French usage: a looseness, or ease of being. It enabled Federer at least to appear to have a fraction more reaction time in his play. The term slid under my skin and greatly informed my workouts in the weeks since. I love the idea of being able to do better by letting go.
Those who follow me, or know me at all, know that I run. This year I decided again to join a Hood to Coast team and have been training all year. This summer I upped my training intensity to be ready for whatever Leg Number I got assigned. The quote about relâchment came to me at just the right time in my final weeks of training. It gave me a different perspective on my runs, forcing me to focus on staying relaxed and not on “powering through”. I focused more on breathing, letting my legs just take me instead of pushing and pushing to do better. Sometimes trying harder is self-defeating. In my case, letting go of the tension? It actually worked!
Letting go is a difficult thing. It’s problematic for small business owners, generally. We like things the way we like them. So it’s more than a little strange for me to be in the women’s designer consignment business, where you literally have NO control over your inventory: how fast it comes in or goes out; how much you receive on any given day or week. What thrills us in the women’s clothing resale business is the excitement of not knowing. I realize this doesn’t make sense. How is it possible to be a control freak in a world with no control? One day you have a shopper yearning for a designer handbag and you have none. The next day, after she’s gone, three genuine designer handbags come in the door. A little bit of letting go of expectations, yearnings, desires, and general cravings for the perfect resale item to come in would be helpful. Enter Wish List. After you’ve gone, if your match made in heaven comes in the next day, we can call or text you!
The same lesson and approach can be applied to Portland resale shopping, or anywhere else you live or travel. Going in with a specific item in mind is fine, but relâchment allows you to be open to the possibilities. Don’t miss a great pair of perfect resale boots just because you’re in search of a pair of jeans. Budgets are real, and we recognize that, which is why we offer lots of payment options. In addition to accepting all major credit cards at Here We Go Again deluxe resale boutique, we also offer layaway! Say it’s early September, the daytime temperatures can still be in the 80’s in Portland. And yet, you find a cashmere cardigan you adore! Putting down a small payment can hold it for you until the weather turns chillier in a month. It’s all about the possibilities. From a shopper’s perspective, relâchment is about the treasure hunt, never knowing what you’ll find, and not giving up because it doesn’t appear instantly.
Living with an ease of being has so many implications for life in general.
After contemplating relâchment, I've been applying the concept to my approach to covid-world. It's a way of rolling with the punches - not anticipating, really, (who can?) but being able to be loose enough to adapt to our changing circumstances. My heart is breaking, but I can control only how I respond. I'm trying to release my freak-out tendencies and be more fluid. A strange contradiction - letting go in order to hold on better, and longer. I don’t think I’ll start rock climbing though!
Thank you for hanging in there with us!