the importance of “the happy place”

I love being out in the world.

It almost doesn’t even matter where.

Whether its the middle of Paris, France (or Paris, Texas), the backwoods of the Alaskan wilderness, or a no-name patch of sand in any stretch of desert, or any sweeping beach. I simply love being there.

There’s something about knowing my literal, actual feet have touched that part of the earth, that centers me, and makes me feel whole. the atoms of my essence have been momentarily intertwined with the atoms of boundless time, collected into that single space. that’s far too metaphoric and meta-physical to fit into a postcard, and yet, what do so many postcards say?: “Wish You Were Here!” The un-investigated and taken-for-granted phrase encapsulates that exact ethereal sentiment.

“come with me, and you’ll be, in a worllllld, of pure imagination…”

At this moment in time, however, there is nowhere else to be, but exactly wherever it is that we are. Most likely our homes and apartments, and if we’re “lucky,” sometimes at work. The outside world, and all of those magical places in the far-flung world that my feet yearn to go stand on, are all off limits until further notice.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for all of us to dig into our heads and our hearts and find whatever it is that makes us happy, and redefine what our individual “happy place” is comprised of. It can no longer be “going to dinner with friends,” or “saving for exotic travel,” or even “lingering at the grocery store for meal ideas.” Wih the environment around us in it’s present toxic state, we need to cultivate our Invironment.

I know it’s somewhat annoying to keep reading people’s social media posts advocating taking up new hobbies and practicing new skills indoors, and trying new recipes or home workouts, but it’s the right idea. Not with the goal of keeping up with the Joneses, or rising to meet that stupid push-up challenge your go-getter co-worker tagged you in, but simply to pass the time. A watched pot never boils, and while we’re all stuck inside our homes, and trapped inside our heads, time feels permanently frozen, and indistinguishable.

I’ve started crocheted again, which i haven’t done in years. I’m average at it, at best, and it may very well take me 7 years to finish a crooked, patchy blanket, but while i binge-watch 76 hours of cartoons, and eat 23 bowls of Raisin Bran in bed over the next few weeks days, being able to look down at my yarn creation – or anything tactile and physical – that proves time has in fact happened, and isn’t make-believe, it makes me feel less trapped. The water is closer and closer to boiling every day, and action is taking place all around us, even if we can not see it from the vantage point of our hidden away quarantine hovels.

My brother challenged you all to move, to be physical, to be motivated, in order to conquer your own comfort zones. I challenge you to that same goal, but with the objective of realizing that when you conquer one comfort zone, you simultaneously expand your Invironment, your inner world, your personal “happy place.” And we all need to find a way to hold on to the happy right now, more than ever before.

Below, is my list, of the little things that are keeping me going. Take the time to make a small list of your own, and try to do at least a couple of the things on it each day, even if that just repeats the same few things over and over. If it keeps you mentally and emotionally grounded, and connected to the happy, then just keep at it.

things that make me happy

  • crocheting
  • yoga
  • bubble baths
  • black lights
  • audiobooks and podcasts
  • the sound of springtime rain, and dripping snow melt
  • catching up with far-away friends on the phone or video chat
  • cheese
  • watching old movies

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