The Great Outdoors

This has been a stressful week. Nothing extraordinary happened at work or at home. The library was very busy for the first few days and I was finally able to be productive for the last two. Home was the usual hectic schedule of trying to squeeze in making dinner and taking the boy to basketball practice and do my own workouts and laundry and all the other stuff. But there was nothing more stressful than usual.

And yet by Friday afternoon, I wanted to hide in my home and never talk to anyone again.

Typically I enjoy working with the public. People can drive me crazy but I usually find humor in odd behaviors or just roll my eyes at those that irritate me. But not this week. I had reached my fill of humans and I needed the day and week to end. I knew I had my son’s game to go to this weekend, as well as a visit to my mom, yet I wasn’t sure I could face either event.

I got up this morning WAY too early and a little grumpy. I still refused to think about the day ahead and just read a book for a while. Once my husband was up, we talked about my frustration with people and needing a break and about the courses I started to look into, possibly for a career change. Maybe something I could do from home or just something *not* with the public and with very few people. He was surprised but just let me talk. My son woke up then, so no further conversation was had, but that was ok. I needed to do a little self-assessment and figure out what’s going on in this brain of mine.

A while later, I bundled myself up and went for a run. It was 28 degrees, plenty warm and dry enough, but my face still froze. And yet it was a very enjoyable run. I just listened to my music and pushed myself when I was able and didn’t really think at all.

Once I got home, I stretched and did a few chores then showered. My kid got ready to go and we were off to the game.

No anxiety. No anger. No frustration.

Huh.

How come?

Did I purposely say to myself, “Ok, Hol, get a grip. You’ve got to do this, so just let it go”?  Of course not. That would probably be a very emotionally healthy thing to do, but I’m not there yet.

Was it the run?

Yeah. I think so. There’s something about a bit of heavy breathing and sweat and fresh air that does something to my brain. Something really, really good. Not only does my body feel better after a run, but my mental and emotional health is vastly improved. Endorphins are the absolute best drug.

But I don’t think it was *just* the run, but being outside.

All I want to do in the winter is stay indoors and sleep and read and not interact with anyone outside of my household. It’s cold and my body hurts when I’m cold, so leave me alone and let me stay inside and bake blueberry muffins and cranberry bread. I walk and run on my treadmill and lift weights and watch exercise videos, therefore my fitness level is still maintained, so why go outside?

Maybe because there’s a lot of life out there. It may be winter in Maine but there are birds and deer and rabbits and turkeys and squirrels and I get to see them right here, in my town, on my road, in my yard!  The trees may be bare but the snow and ice make them beautiful again. The spruce and the pine are always gorgeous, too, and just seeing them brings me comfort I wasn’t aware I needed.

Photo courtesy of Stephen LaRochelle

Photo courtesy of Stephen LaRochelle

Hearing and seeing all the life that is out there, makes me want to live. Makes me want to be a part of others’ lives, too. Even those annoying humans.

Well…some of them, anyway.

Do you ever just want to hibernate? Or hide? How do *you* keep going? I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

 

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