Contrast of the day’s end…
So this happened. Recently the group of ladies I meet with every week did charts on what made them anxious or angry and what brought them joy. Interestingly enough, my joy chart had very little to do with people! It has plenty to do with nature though.
One of my stress-causing irems is being stuck in the middle lane in traffic. Just freaks me out. So I am on my way home early in the week and there is an accident on the freeway. Traffic is bad and I get stuck in the slow moving tangle of cars and trucks – in the middle of 8 lanes which will slowly become 3 as some lanes branch off.
I can’t really try the STOP technique I shared in a previous post – the S meaning stop – so I decide to try a mindfulness exercise. All good for about 30 seconds. The way some people are behaving is not helping. I have to move lanes so indicate and start moving but have to stop as I narrowly miss a motorcyclist weaving his way between cars. I keep trying to get back to being in the present and failing. I eventually get home and am so tense my neck and back muscles are sore, my head aches. I am wasted for the rest of the day. My time off a distant memory.
This is in sharp contrast to one of my happy places which I went to a couple of days later. I decided to go for a walk on the beach just before sunset. It was cool out and not many people were around. I just walked and appreciated the beauty of the place as the sun started to go down. What a contrast to earlier in the week. Now I am calm and content, thankful to live in this beautiful place. I am so fortunate to live here.
I am amazed at how differently my two days ended and the effect each one had on my mind and body. I would never choose to get stuck in traffic at the end of my day – or any time to be honest – but I can choose to walk on the beach or in a park. I don’t do it often enough and have been thinking that might need to change.