Life is hyperactive. All of us do way too much, way too often, and then wonder why we're stressed out.
Although we may think people keep tally sheets of all we accomplish, the truth is they don't. Nobody cares. The reason: They're just as busy busying themselves, so they're too busy to notice what's busying you.
Although you read similar versions of the previous paragraphs in "how to keep your life in balance" articles and your therapist repeats some version of it week after week, you keep piling stuff on your plate, over and over again, generally until a life-jolting something slaps you across the face and says, "Wake up, you overachieving masochist. You're taking the pleasure out of your own life."
I'm just as guilty as you are, so don't think I stand on my soapbox with any sort of authority. Today, this topic of de-stressing and reuniting with the simpler things just happens to be particularly ripe in my mind. Specifically, the idea of comfort is circling around and around.
This morning, I asked myself the following question: What strips stress from my mind, body and soul, and provides me with a sense of comfort? Many of my answers aren't exactly revolutionary and others might sound a bit odd. Oddly enough, the exercise in itself was comforting.
In no particular order, this is what I came up with:
- Barnum's Animals
- Airplane take-offs
- Tattered pink fleece blanket
- Being around animals
- Thinking of the Eastern seaboard; being there is pretty great too
- Black cherry or mint hot tea
- Rereading a book that I love
- Watching "You've Got Mail"
- Watching seagulls eat scraps off the sand at the beach
- Free falling
- Bulleted lists
- A nap in the afternoon
- The music of Frank Sinatra
- Being at sea
- Traveling to places where I know nobody
- Roasted chicken
- The smell of onions and garlic when they first hit the saute pan
- Singing, albeit poorly
- Reading travel magazines and books
- Warm water on my hands
- Going to the movies with a close friend on a Sunday afternoon
- Fog, rain, snow and foliage
- Christmas Eve; Thanksgiving Day
- Watching football on TV
- The smell of newspaper
- The smell of coffee
- Running in the rain, in the dark
- Waking up early on Saturday morning
- The months of November and February
- Black fuzzy slippers with worn soles
- The smell of a wet dog
- Having nowhere to be
- Black licorice
- Cold grass on my bare feet
- The smell of a candle burning inside of a pumpkin
- Hotel rooms
I now turn the question on you: What comforts you?
Read a related story on The Concentric Circle:
Zazu: The exception to the no-roasted-chicken-out rule, with a cherry on top