It's been awhile, with everything shutting down due to all this stuff going on with sickness. Sometimes gets us in our heads a little more then normal.....as if us dads need more time to overthink everything. Well I wanted to make a list of top five things I've been doing to keep my mind at peace as much as possible. In no way am I saying this top five ways work for everyone all the time, or even any of them will work one time....does that make sense? lol....just trying to say no matter what, sometimes you can have all the therapy in the world and you can still have a panic attack, or issues that need more than self help ideas. This is just more of what I do to cope, and hope that maybe it helps someone like it helps me. So lets get to it....
Number 5: Gardening,
Nothing is more rewarding than planting a seed and watching it grow into something you can use. Even better if it helps support your family. If you can get the hero to join you it could create a very amazing bond. I can't dig in the dirt with out thinking about my mom. I am lucky enough to have a great growing season and very rich soil. Although it needs a good mix to make it not so concrete. What started as wanting to grow a small herb garden has now turned into over 300 plants of all different kinds. from corn, strawberries and cucumbers, to sunflowers, marigolds, and even pineapple! Even have some dill and may make my own pickles. Had I started sooner, I could have sold young plants for some funds for the program. Next year we will be having a plant sale. Maybe even get Fathership pots made...anyway I am getting off track. I am such a dreamer. The time you spend with your plants one on one is also soothing and relaxing...go sit in the dirt, pull some weeds play some sing along music, soak in that sun. See the work it takes for a "simple" plant to live...see how much you matter in its world, and soon you will see how much more it matters in yours. It's not uncommon to hear me venting to the corn,and praising my flowers, and crying over my garlic that is deformed for some reason, maybe the emotional stress I gave it, lol....I dream of the day we sit at a table of food that was all raised by me. Food that I sat in fields with and mended wounds in. Powerful....something I think most homes miss. Do it right and you not only get stress relief and therapy, and bonding with your hero.....but you can budget you money away from the grocery store, and at more important things...like speakers with dancing LEDs. ;)
Number 4: Road Trips
Nothing clears the mind like a good drive; be it a cruise through some country roads, or a cross country adventure. Not much can compare to seeing the world, singing to the radio, and enjoying the curves. One thing I think I did right is take a trip with my hero across country. We camped, kayaked, and sang to the radio from California to Illinois and back. We even saw an amazing concert at Red Rocks, although a storm destroyed our campsite, I think we had a good time. I believe it will be a good memory. But even a road trip by yourself helps get you focused on other things. May come up with an amazing world changing idea watching that line fly by. Talk with some stranger at a gas station about the adventure they maybe on. go see some sites, learn history of historical sites in your area. Its a common theme on how it helps, it gets you up, it gets you active, and you get to be with other life forms. lol Find some amazing things in the world, much easier than focusing on the darkness. Once you start, you may not ever want to stop. I would be on a road trip right now if money was not a factor. One thing road trips taught me is no matter what is in the road, you must adapt...and you can't give up when broken down- the destination may not be known, but I promise it's worth it.
Number 3: Kayaking,
This is something I got into a few years ago. I was more of a canoe guy, but always eyed kayaks as something I wanted to try. Although my kayak is perfectly capable of rolls, I have yet to do one. I would say to take a safety course before heading out. Make sure you know the water you're in, or have a guide as well. Do not go solo in rivers and running water...some say u shouldn't even in lakes.....I don't agree personally. that should be decided by you and your swimming ability. Water is life, in so many ways I would take a whole other blog off subject to tell you how deeply I feel that. One trip I did was breaking all the rules, but uplifting and empowering is the only way I can describe it, and I hope to share the ride with others someday. I did the San Joaquin River here in Fresno, from just below the Friant dam at Lost Lake all the way to Washington Beach, not far from Riverpark. 11.5 mile ride. almost 5 hours. hit a top speed of 10 mph...that's movin' on a river in a kayak. My phone app tracked the whole thing. that is pretty cool too. I didn't know a thing about this river; very ignorant that I did it solo with no prior knowledge of what was ahead of me...I didn't even have a plan of where I was going to get out- just a hand held walkie talkie that connected me to my wife. In the beginning and the end. Many times I was faced with a decision- some times more than 2, and didn't have much time to worry about the outcome. Only had to make the choice and ride it out. One time I made a wrong choice, went to correct, and a tree root shot me out of the kayak like a pop gun, lol. When I reached the end feeling like that wasn't that hard, and I can't wait to bring friends and do this again...I was met by some beach people who sat and smoked with me and told me how dangerous this river is, and how I should never do it alone...so now I wait for a kayak partner. I can hear the water calling....
Number 2: Swimming
I was swimming before I was crawling or sitting up. Born in May in Maricopa County Arizona, my mom kept me in the pool in the back yard. I feel very at home in the water....until the fish get big. I was a great swimmer growing up on swim teams and diving teams. I may not have been the best football or basketball player, but not many of them could keep up with me in the water. I don't know if that is why I find it soothing to jump into water, or if it has the same feeling to everyone. Just something about being underwater, watching the light hit the water above and shine as separate rays through the water, nothing but your heart beat and bubbles. Not to mention the act of swimming laps is the best work out you can get hands down. The rhythm of the strokes, as the water washes away and makes new...I am a water protector, as it protects and cares for me. When it comes to helping get in your head, and working out issues you're facing, I can only think of one other activity the can compare to swimming- therapy wise...
Number 1: Motorcycling
Much like a road trip, but so much more free. You feel the road, smell the air, and feel the rain and wind. It's not so much about where you're going as much as it's about just going.....getting lost and running a tank through...finding spots you would have never found because a bird you saw said turn left. People from all walks of life ride, and it's amazing how well they come together. Biking community is amazing. It's rough around the edges because much like us dads with heros, they felt real soul-deep pain sometime in their life. And with the support of their brothers and the wind on their face, they smile on the next day. The hum of the motor can put you in a riding trance, all you have on your mind is the next corner, clearing the next hill, and avoiding the next danger. Like kayaking, you have choices you have to make with no time to overthink them. Those choices can mean life or death. If nothing more than some injury, even. I don't know how I would have coped with a lot of the tricks my mind plays on me, had I not had my bike. Every time I hear one go by my house, I say, there is the song of my people!
So these are my top five ways Ii do some therapy at home, or on my own, I should say. Some of it is best when alone, and some is fun to share with others. I have many other things I do to help me smile as well, but these are fun. I would love to hear from you and what you do to beat the day. Please sign up for an account, it's free...and comment. Let's get the conversation going!