by Trish Milburn
As writers, we spend a lot of time indoors in front of our computers. Not only are we spending time writing and doing online research, but there are e-mails to answer, blogs to read, funny YouTube videos to watch. Even when we're doing something we enjoy, sometimes it begins to build stress within us and we need an outlet, something that doesn't require a computer or sitting on out butts. Something basic and simple.
For me, that wonderful release is spending time outdoors -- and more than just doing yard work. I love to go to state or national parks, out away from the city, away from the noise, away from my ever-expanding to-do list. I like to just sit and breathe in the scent of the forest after a rain, listen to the water falling over rocks in a stream, watch the birds float up high on the thermals, drink in the beauty of a clear, blue sky on a crisp, sunny autumn day. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
I've been very busy lately, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. But a couple of weeks ago before it began to get cold, I took most of the day off to spend with my husband. We drove about 90 miles from our house to one of my favorite state parks.
We walked hand-in-hand in the woods, sat and watched waterfalls, and strolled along a sandy beach. After we left the park, we drove through some rural areas dotted with big fields of cows and rolling, wooded hills filled with trees that are beginning to show some fall color. It was all relaxing and just what I needed before facing a lot of deadlines and responsibilities in the next couple of months.
I think we often forget to take time to do simple things like take walks in the woods. Whether we're writers or attorneys or stay-at-home moms, we've nearly forgotten how to just be. Even while trying to enjoy a day of freedom, our brains are constantly trying to interrupt to tell us about all those things back home that we have to do. This mindset causes a lot of stress that's unnecessary and unhealthy.
Does spending time outdoors help you relax? If so, where is your favorite place to commune with nature?
Hey, if you can't commune with nature today, why not commune with your Internet connection and scoot on over to the Romantic Times site to vote for OUT OF SIGHT, my entry in the American Title contest? The second round of voting is under way, and I really want to "stay on the island." :) Thanks!