Seriously, go outside!
You might be surprised at all the things you find when you look around you, but sometimes it gets easy to overlook the littlest, sweetest things in life. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be any type of person to do or enjoy this.
One of the biggest obstacles I have come across in recovery, is I’m really not an avid hiker, nor do I have the energy most days to really put in a decent trek. If you know anything about Arizona, you can clearly see the problem.
For those of you who don’t know, Arizona is just about one of the most beautiful states in the country if you put in the time and effort to get to some of these remote places. There are throngs of people who flock here for the trails and scenery, but that’s never been appealing to me.
It would be nice to camp, do a few small day hikes in Sedona, Arizona but I have never really loved the idea of walking for days on end and sleeping on the ground.
Nothing about that sounds compelling, least being a lack of shower and a toilet.
Now that my health has been compromised it will be a while before I can even consider it, but I’ve still never been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 28 years of living here.
I know it’s pitiful and I’m ashamed to admit it.
Needless to say, backpacking anywhere will never be on my bucket list.
Which never seemed like an issue all those nights when I found a party or a drinking buddy. However, in my sobriety, not only have I struggled to lose the company of those ‘friends’, but also struggled to find something to do with my time.
What in the world was I going to do in rural northern Arizona if I don’t party, and I don’t hike?
At some point I found myself lost in thought while walking my dog early before the oven that is Arizona began it’s preheating to midday. Birds chirping in the distance and the flutter of quaking aspen leaves in the wind swirled around me like music and my heart danced along.
That’s when it hit me!
I realized how simple yet how overlooked nature can be!
-all this time I had built up reasons for why I couldn’t hike or camp as if I needed some sort of grand plan and huge soul searching excursion. But I remembered that I didn’t need any of those things.
I remembered the feel of the cool dirt between my toes and the smell of the pines. It all came flooding back!
I can recall the warmth of the monsoon rains, and the heat of the summer droughts; the freezing winter nights and the bitter fall mornings. Suddenly it was as if each one stood out vibrantly in a beautiful bouquet, each commanding and radiant in its arrangement.
My eyes had missed the colors, and my mind had missed the memories.
I had forgotten that as kids we were constantly outside! Really, I vividly remember my best friend Tiffany and I turning my Bugs Bunny watch back five minutes to try and buy some time with my parent’s. (Because in that day and age there was no atomic clock everyone ran off of) Not that I could have fooled my parents and in fact did get in trouble for pushing my curfew, but that is beside the actual point.
We would spend from sun up until sun down outside and longer if our parents would allow. That’s the point. You couldn’t pay us to keep us inside!
Now thinking about those times, I almost felt ashamed.
How could I have overlooked something so basic?
The answer seems pretty clear to me.
We live in a day and age where everything we see and experience is behind the screen of a phone, and many people are perfectly comfortable with being ‘not really the outdoorsy- type’. Somewhere along the lines, spending time enjoying nature, got mixed up with being a survivalist.
You don’t have to be an outdoorsy person to enjoy the benefits of some good old-fashioned sunshine and fresh air.
If you don’t believe me, do a quick Google search about the positive effects of sunshine on the human psyche.
I know I live in a state that is pretty abundant with nature so some of you might be already listing reasons in your head of why you can’t get your own personal sunshine and fresh air dose, daily; or weekly at least.
That can not possibly be the case. Even Central Park offers a bit of fresh air in comparison to the tiny snowglobe you’ve locked yourself in. In fact, while you are still google searching, look up
- city/state parks
- recreational areas
Most places along these lines with get you a little farther from the hustle and bustle of the city, and let you take a little step into nature. At the very least, you have a day of memories.
My point is this, you don’t have to be Bear Grylls to enjoy nature.
So get outside a little bit, and enjoy some of what used to be more fundamental than any cell phone;
Breathe for a minute and I mean, really take a breather.
Slow down for a second and soak in the moment. Deep down, in your soul, you can feel it as everything inside you, and around you is everything as it should be.
Nature is beautiful and flawed and in many ways, like us, in our recovery.
Each in our own recoveries, and nature alike, just want someone to:
- take notice
- appreciate the hard work
- overlook the flaws
- admire the overall beauty
Turn your phone off for a bit, feel the grass on your feet and the sun on your skin; let nature remind you that everything you need is already inside of you.
Perfectly imperfect as it may be.
Until next time readers
-catch ya on the #soberside