I’ve been on the road this past week. I had been extremely stressed out—physically, emotionally, and mentally. I needed to spend some time doing nothing so very badly, or or risk having an emotional breakdown (which my family has a history of), becoming mentally unfocused (and fuck up at work), and/or becoming physically ill (which I am prone to do during times of great stress).
So I went somewhere that I knew was calm and peaceful. Somewhere where there aren’t all kinds of shiny modern things to draw my attention and make me all excited and active, but rather someplace where the shine comes from only the sun, and the glory that is nature.
Mother Nature did some pretty nifty things on this planet and I have always wanted to see as much of it as I can. However, as things have turned out in my life, I haven’t been able to travel as much as I would’ve liked. Having said that, traveling is exhausting, and this time around, I just went where I could sit with a beverage and stare at some gurgling water and watch the colors change on the horizon.
It’s a shame that more people don’t take the time to do this. It’s hard, of course. I totally get it. It’s a pain in the ass to get time off work, especially when your time is very limited and you want to see all kinds of shiny things in different shiny places, but once in a while, everyone should try just sitting by some gurgling water. A river, a beach, a lake, a waterfall, any kind. Even a staycation, where the only gurgling water is in your bathtub, is fine if that’s all you can manage. But the key there is to shut off the machines, let everyone wait for your response, close the door, send the kids to someone else’s house (a normal person, of course), order in dinner (or cook dinner if that makes you happy and you never get to do it), read a book, watch a movie, turn the phone ringer down, tell people to fuck off. JUST GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!
It sounds simplistic, and it is. What it’s not is simple. But if you can manage it, it can change you in ways you could not anticipate. When you’re so wound up that you’re like a sailor’s knot inside, pulling tighter and tighter as each day goes on, threatening to push the very air out of you, you need to grab onto the ends and undo it. Or it will undo you.
I’m no longer by that gurgling water (the riptide at Coney Island doesn’t count), but it’s in my head, and I feel calmer and wholer (is that a word?) I don’t know how long it will last, but however long it’s for, it will help me going forward into the stressful days ahead.
I highly recommend it.