Our experiences are bits and pieces of our whole journey. Some are joyful, and some our stressful, and sad, but necessary to what makes our journey personal.
It's definitely easier to sit on the couch, under a blanket when the temperature barely rises to 50 degrees. But it's worthwhile to take time, open up to experiences, events, or adventures, leave comfort behind, and find joy.
There's work, and there's writing, and there's the day after day, followed by the exhaustion of following a dream.
When you deny yourself the opportunity to experience, to live, to journey forward, there will be nothing left in the tank to keep pushing the dream forward. You can't live in perpetual work motion without downtime. Without me time. Without rest.
I hadn't realized just how stressed, how swimming in the weeds I was until I allowed myself time away. Whether it was on vacation or a day outside in the sun, in the cold, away from the computer, the books, the work. And most importantly doing it without guilt.
Today wasn't one of those massive trips. It was close to home. It was with a beautiful friend that is my past, present, and future. It was stressless. It was necessary.
When I'm asked to picture my happy place, it's here, the Chicago Botanic Gardens. In the summer it's magical, in the winter it's cold, bracing, and peaceful.
I didn't stay on the couch, in front of the television. I dressed for the cold, I saw a garden I had never seen before, and I added another experience to my long list of places, people, and things that make up the whole of my life's journey.
It was beautiful, fun, and relaxing. It was time away from the stresses, from the reminder of the lost dreams. It was part of my promise to myself. The promise that I would live my life, be present in my life, and not give up on what could have been the lost dream.
It's not that difficult. As a matter of fact, it's actually quite simple to keep this promise.