Avoidance Behavior at its Best

A unique situation that verges on a strange type of illness flares up within me every summer (at least, since I’ve become an adult.)  It started long before I had children, though having babies definitely made the symptoms a little worse.  Starting in mid spring I begin to feel overwhelmed by the approach of summer.  Most of my friends and neighbors long for this, their favorite season.  They can’t wait to lie out on the patio, a cool drink in hand, a book or magazine flopped to one side of the chair as they gaze lazily at the sky.  This image gives me nightmares, frankly, which tend to start right around the end of May.  Why? you may ask with honest astonishment.  Because the summer creates in me a fierce need to do absolutely everything.  I must have a wonderful garden, an incredible vacation, maximum time with family, freshly painted items and/or fabulous garage sale nick nacks arranged artfully around the yard.  If I’m not on high alert, having the best time of my frantic life, then I feel that I’m wasting the precious few months of warm weather. 

I have learned some calming techniques, but the best one came along with the babyTrekker.  When in doubt about what to do, go for a walk.  Don’t think about the messy house, the unweeded garden, the new plants languishing in their pots.  Strap that baby on and head outside.  If its raining, invest in one of those $2.00 plastic ponchos, cut the front low enough for the baby, and head into the rain.  Walk briskly and inhale deeply.  Wonderful things will start to happen in your brain.  Endorphins begin their happy dance and sanity returns, allowing perspective on EVERYTHING.  Because there is no agenda, or chaos, or reason to feel anxious on that beautiful/rainy/snowy day.  This life is a gift, and nature has tied it up for us in beautiful ribbons of greenery and sunshine, of bees and butterflies.  John Lennon said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.  It also happens when you’re busy being stressed out about unimportant things.  Easy for a parent to do.  So let it go, and don’t force yourself to make one more decision.  When life feels sour and demanding, head outside and get moving.  Mother nature is waiting with open arms and no expectations at all. 


Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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