a day out is good for the soul
I'm writing this blog from my bed. The windows are open, there is a brisk breeze blowing in, and the songbirds are performing a symphony in the forest that surrounds my house. I pause often just to listen to them. This is good medicine and a sign that spring is coming.
It is still winter here in New Jersey. Being situated between New England and the SouthEast, we are considered to be the Mid Atlantic region. Our weather mimics what our northern neighbors experience, just not as extreme. We've been really lucky to have had a mild winter with little snow and plenty of sunshiny days. (also good medicine)
Last weekend, I needed to get out of town. I don't bore easily with my routines but on this day, I wanted to look at something different. I was also searching for any glimmer of hope that the season was coming to an end. It's been a rough one for me.
I hopped into my car and headed south to Asbury Park, my new favorite beach town. It was a smooth 1 hour drive in the sunshine. My current "good vibes only" playlist was on blast. When I arrived, I took a long walk along the boardwalk. People were out and about, walking their dogs, shopping, and brunching at the few oceanside places that were open. I checked out the menu of the Iron Whale. A rose margarita. What?!! I went in, sat at the bar, and indulged in the most delicious drink I've had in ages.
I would consider myself a social drinker and I'm not one to walk into a bar alone and order a drink. This was a first. It was initially awkward, but then I just stopped caring and enjoyed my drink while taking in a view of the ocean.
After the drink, I walked a bit to the convention center where there is indoor shopping, restaurants, and a coffee shop. I decided on a mini cappuccino which had the most delicious foam topped with cinnamon. I made an exit and found the path towards the beach. It was one of the most beautiful days we've had in a very long time.
And this is what I need most for my mental health, at this age, in this news cycle, in this political climate, and this season of my life. I am no longer a hands on mom to a young child, a role I identified with for that last 18 years. I am in my mid life season and finding what works for me now. I'm less embarrassed, more confident, less shy, advocate for myself more. I'm curious about people, and women my age, and often wonder about some of the years I lived through and think about how in the world I made it. I have always had these mantras I say to myself when I don't know what to do: "go where the people are" and "go to the water". For me, no matter how down things may seem, taking these actions have helped lift my spirits higher. *for transparency, I have also sought help from a doctor and am on medication, which also helps me.
I think I would like more of this being out in the elements, near people while this new time in my life unfolds. I feels optimistic, free, interested, radiant (yes!), and contemplative about it all.