A Walk in the Woods

My therapist recently cut me loose. Apparently, I’m cured of all that ailed me. Plus, she’s taken a new job in a new town and won’t be around to listen to me complain about what has become simply the minutia of everyday crap that bothers me and frankly, I often bore myself. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to listen to it. My big issues are mainly resolved and yes, I feel good. Life is a million times better than it was three years ago. But, I liked having that every-four-or-eight-weeks appointment. And now my little boat will have to float untethered to the main ship. It will have to find a new island at which to dock.

One of the things I’ve been learning to do lately is, following in KonMari philosophy, to let go of things that bring no joy. And one of those things is a blog that, in theory, should generate income but which brings zero joy (and zero money) and feels like homework I put off until 8pm on a Sunday night. Cramming for an exam I made for myself. So, I think I might let that one loose. I still worry about money but I don’t have whatever it takes to make it this way.

I’ve been saying ‘no’ to things I don’t need to do and ‘yes’ to things that sound fun. I’m making art which has been incredibly fun. Especially since I can listen to podcasts of This American Life while I make my little suncatcher/ornament things. I’m trying not to worry much about the novel that sits and sulks in a corner, rolling its eyes at me like a kid denied a donut because he didn’t finish his vegetables.

I plan to get back to the story next week – the students will be gone and I’ll have the library to myself again – but this week I’ve been taking advantage of the amazing weather by walking in the woods. I’ve been taking walks in various parks nearby and yesterday I walked two miles down leaf-strewn paths and discovered a stream. I took the mountain bike path that runs alongside it and heard nothing but birds and squirrels. Woodpeckers. The very faraway drone of vehicles. Leaves falling off tree limbs and spiraling down to create more ground cover. My feet kicking up those leaves.

I think the walks have helped my physical and mental health this week more than the therapist appointment. It’s been a busy week but I haven’t felt the stress I usually do. Eating at the dining hall this week with the kids has eliminated the stress of feeding them before getting Dusty to her evening concerts. I really don’t know why I never thought of it before. I guess when you don’t know what your options are, you can’t consider them. The dining hall has been an unexpected blessing. And Red loves it. So many dessert choices! All of them good!

Tomorrow we’ll get a tree and decorate the house and it’ll begin to feel a lot like Christmas. We’ve got one more week to go before our two-week break from the grind of life. I’ll have that first week to myself and maybe if the weather continues to be warm, I’ll go for a few more walks before winter finally arrives and forces me to wrap myself in a blanket by the fire with a book and a glass of wine. Which is always something I’ll say ‘yes’ to.

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