This weekend was plain awesome. Sure, total got only about 10 hours of sleep but instead I got one low key night with friends, one hilarious out of my body experience night out, one solo warm one, one long trail run that will leave me sore for days and two days of running store hours that flew by. Wait can I rewind?? Luckily next weekend has the same sort of entertainment that won’t disappoint. All of this craziness got me thinking.
I don’t know what it is about 2014 but it has been busy. And that is an understatement. Yet, for the first time I feel busy but grounded. Two words I never thought I could put together. I am a firm believer in really looking at what made that change? Why now? Why a different mindset?
I realized a lot of it is due to finding my escapes. I think everyone consciously or unconsciously has their non negotiables. I have talked about those before but really those things that you know may be a bit selfish but are what keep you sane. Those activities, those physical things that keep you chugging along despite the chaos around you. I have always been pretty good about setting ground rules for my non-negotiables. Like morning runs. A gym membership. One night a week of me time. Early bed times. You get it. I feel like mine tend to be less tangible and more patterns of behavior.
But the idea of escapes was one I struggled with. For so long, I couldn’t find that release. I was so tightly wound despite staying true to those non-negotiables. I still sometimes had that suffication feeling and anxiety that just couldn’t seem to die down. Maybe I didn’t see the importance of these escapes until this new year or maybe I finally realized my busy life style couldn’t keep going without some kind of give. I define escapes by those out of body out of mind times that just make you disconnect. Momentary disconnect of course but a disconnect that leaves you to come back even more engaged and alert. Almost like a momentary shut down that rejuvenates you so that the turn on is even more clear.
So what are mine?
- Reading – For so long I was a slave to tv. I thought that is what would calm my mind and just shut it off. If anything, it did the exact opposite. Reading has been a lifeline for me these past few months. My books tend to be ones with characters I can relate to one some level (although not always perfectly) where you follow their lives. I won’t lie, lately I have been sucked into some romantic type novels that have a hint of adventure entwined in a love story. Sappy, I know, but the best freaking escape.
- Running – This is a major duh but running has always been that escape. However, I am very clear for it to be an escape and not a run from problems. This one takes a lot of honesty, a lot of is this avoidance or is this helping me flush out my problems. More times than not it is a way for me to process everything. A crazy night dream. A packed day. A weird interaction. My mind goes everywhere but if you ask me what I was thinking about after I would have no idea. Glorious.
- Friends – Who would have thunk this would be one? But lately this has been all I have needed. Just being with people almost every night this week shows how much it has become my crutch now, that thing that gets me out of my head and more in the moment.
- Writing – Now, I refrain from saying blogging because reading blogs does anything lately but act as an escape. I mean the process of writing. Even writing this post. Or writing drafts I never publish. Lately it has just clicked. Planning posts are now a thing of the past because those glorious 30 minutes I take each night to write are exactly what I need after a day. Sometimes sarcasm comes out, sometimes emotions pour out, but always in the moment.
As you can tell, I don’t have a ton of escapes right now. It is still something that feels so new and overly selfish to indulge in. Obviously something I want to change but a mind block I am still working on moving past. For now though, these escapes help though. Immensely. I have more room to be with others (because I am not constantly bombarded by my own thoughts). I have room to build relationships. And I have room to build a practice around being a happy busy person. That is all I can ask for.
Question: What are your escapes?