I'm getting started on this posting pretty late this week...I've been sick, unfortunately, with a lovely green-snot-filled sinus infection! Oh joy! Such is the time of year, I suppose. As the weather turns colder and the color of the leaves begin to change, many of us are filled with a sense of peace and happiness. I, however, am filled with phlegm. This season is my least favorite, although as an artist and a native of New York I do appreciate the beauty of it. That appreciation lasts about five minutes long, though...after which my eyes start watering and it blurs my vision!
So as I have been going through the tissues and putting hot/cold packs on my forehead, I have been dreaming of my happy place. Many of us have a place where we feel utterly calm, away from the pressures of life. Some of these places only exist in our minds, such as a deserted island we have never seen, a beautiful beach we have never walked on...a little log cabin in the woods with a roaring fireplace we have never lit. I am lucky in the fact that my place actually exists, and the first time I was there my mother was still pregnant with me. It has been kismet ever since! So where is it? In a little town called Schroon Lake, deep in the Adirondacks. 39 years ago, my parents searched for a summer getaway, finally settling on a little camp in Schroon. It's not a log cabin, and we don't have a fireplace...but it doesn't matter. It's my favorite place in the world! It's a place where I can just BE...whether I am sitting on the porch reading a book, or in the back yard which faces the woods. I can go there and just be at peace with myself, and not think about my daily stresses. I'm able to shut out the noise, turn off my mind, stop thinking of work and finances and even my disability....none of it matters there. It's a place I can meditate, or create, or just be still and do nothing...it is blissful!
So sitting here with my nose stuffed to the rafters and tissues in my sleeve, I got to thinking about camp. The house isn't winterized, so I can only physically enjoy it in the summer. Though I have my memories of childhood summers spent there, to sustain me for the rest of the year. One of my favorites is of my family sitting around the kitchen table, playing board games such as Pit (a card game about the stock market,) and Bingo. These games didn't have bells or whistles (oh wait-the Pit game did include a bell...but you know what I mean!) There was nothing to plug in or turn on...no electronics whatsoever. In fact, the Bingo markers were buttons my mother had saved over the years, which were placed on old game cards we would use over and over. There was no Facebook, or Wii, or even a computer...there still isn't. And living in such a technologically advanced society, you would think I would miss these things whenever I am there...but surprisingly, I never do. It's a chance to break out those games once again, which are even older now and a little musty, and recreate some of the best times in my life!
Maybe you are wondering where I am going with this...and worrying that the nasal spray has clouded my senses! Well, I am feeling a little foggy-but don't worry. I do have a point. As I have mentioned in the majority of my posts, we all have stress...some of us deal with very difficult issues in our lives. It can often be very hard to see around these issues...we wake up thinking about them, they plague us throughout the day and in many cases we go to sleep worrying about them as well. And then the alarm clock goes off and the cycle starts all over again. This is not to say that life is always a stress filled balloon about to pop...life can also be wonderful! It is a constantly changing force, with a mix of good and bad, which challenges us and makes us think. I guess my point is this...if you have a happy place that fills you with a sense of peace, use it. Appreciate it. Be GRATEFUL for it! And if you don't have a place, then search hard for one...even if it is a meditative retreat you can only visualize in your mind. Even if it's as simple as the bathroom, with the door locked, candles and a hot bath. It fortifies you and helps make you stronger, so when life throws those big obstacles in your way you can handle the climb.
I realize this has been one of my shortest posts, and maybe not as gripping and enlightening as some other things I have written for this blog...there wasn't even a mouse involved! But that's okay. If I have inspired just one person to find the calm, go back to basics and create some happy memories, then it was worth it! As I leave you with that, I think I'll take my tissues and nasal spray back to bed, dream of camp and RELAX.