Thursday, August 6, 2015

Life Lesson: Relax a Little

If you are super laid back, if you are chillin' your way through life, you don't need to read this article. In fact, you might consider having a strong cup of coffee, reviewing you life goals or your honey-do list, and getting to work. Now.

However, if you're like me, ultra responsible, attending to details, trying to get the best possible outcomes including the perfect daily shave.... it's time to relax a little. Let go of that tight grip just a bit.

The perfect example of this outlook is in my own tennis game. I've been playing tennis since 1968. It's only taken me 47 years to really understand that I play my best tennis when I relax just a little and don't try quite so hard. It's been tough to let go.

When I'm in my full-bore take-no-prisoners mode on the tennis court (which has been most of the time), I'm so focused on winning each point (and you should interpret that to mean dominate the opposition; that is, not only win the point but crush their dreams of even a chance of victory) that I actually increase my error rate significantly, and thereby lose -- actually giving away the match.

Yet when I relax a little and just keep the ball in play, stop trying to win quick points with a service ace or that blazing short cross-court backhand, when I hit a few high-arcing parabolas, move the ball around a little without trying to hit the lines, play within my capabilities, patiently construct points, victories often come much more frequently.

And so it is with so many things. Like meeting new and interesting women, for example (although I'm officially long out of that business being married for many years -- but that's a different topic for a different time and place.) The relevant point here is that relaxing a bit often improves results in shaving as well.

I have been getting very rewarding shaves using, generally, two passes. I don't even give a great deal of thought or attention to grain direction (except to some extent on the second pass and any fussing I may perform after). First pass lately is simply down -- even on my lower neck, where the grain runs more upward. Second pass stroking direction is generally up, though I do try to accommodate grain by altering stroke direction a bit under my jawline. I also continue to use buffing strokes on my cheeks for the second pass.

The outcome tends to be rewarding shaves. Wounds are next to none; irritation is very low. The feel of my face to my hand, though not baby smooth, is pleasing none the less. Blade wear is likely diminished, thus extending their longevity. And the shaves look great.

So, whatever your endeavor or goal, if you are trying very hard and not getting the best outcomes, try a little patience, a little more relaxation, loosening the grip a little, looking at the big picture. You may get better results with a different approach, with a little less desperation and a bit more relaxation.

Happy easy-going shaving!


  1. I've settled into a routine now, I have been satisfied with my experimenting. Gillette Early Tech Top with the ATT Atlas handle is just plain the winner for me. I love my NEW LC but it's just to much for me, sigh... Slap in one of either two blades and away I go for my usual two pass shave. Maybe a little touch up in the chin area but otherwise easy as pie...oh I'm hungry...

  2. Now you talk like a Greek.I am Greek also and i understand you.For a good shave you must be relaxed.Χαλαρα.