A theme in my life over the last couple of years has been the building level of stress that I’ve been trying my best to ignore. Turns out that ignoring stress doesn’t make it go away. So over the last three weeks or so I’ve been trying to take some specific steps to stem my anxiety and chill out a little. The hope is that by doing so, I’ll have more time and energy to do things I enjoy, I’ll fit into my own pants again, and I’ll be more fun to be around.
The trip to Acadia was an amazing eye-opener for me. I discovered that with a decent amount of sleep, plenty of time in the outdoors, and some playful exercise (as in climbing up a mountain, biking to a pond, kayaking, tubing) actually filled me up in ways I haven’t felt full in ages. So I’ve been trying my best to keep the spirit of that trip alive as best I can. I’ve kept the TV turned off a lot more. We listen to baseball games now and play cards instead of sitting like lumps on the recliners. We use the new free time to keep the apartment clean and pleasant. We cook our meals instead of going out for burgers and beer. Not only have we saved money, but we’ve eaten quite well and I’ve even lost a couple pounds. That’s without adding in any exercise.
I’ve also made quiet time for after 9:30 so I can be in bed and asleep by 10:30. I can’t tell you how much this has done for me. I feel like a new person just by sleeping more. It’s awesome.
All of these things have reawakened some creative spirit in me, too. I’ve got more time to write! And to take pictures. Instead of thinking about project ideas I think might be fun, I’m just doing them. Over the weekend, after a trip to the local greenmarket, I found myself with some free time so I tried an experiment. One apple, 25 photos. I kind of thought it would be neat. I kind of cheated a bit, and I’m a little disappointed in how it turned out once I gave in and started altering the apple, but I like how it made me think creatively. Some of the images I quite like. One is a little risque so you have to go through a safety filter to see it, but I think it is my favorite of the bunch. I don’t know that it’s any great work of art, but it was an exercise that made me feel good about me. I know not everyone can understand that, but that’s part of what makes it special. It’s entirely mine.