Tuesday, September 6, 2011

time out

It's only the start of the school year, but I'm already thinking of how to combat stress. I can't keep eating cookies as a stress reliever: Dark chocolate chip cookies at Cafe Paesan. Oh my! Already they are in my head, drawing me with their sweet mixture of butter and chocolate, crunch and chew.  I have been resisting. . . so far.

Movies are a way to de-stress. Not DVDs. In-the-theater movies. Where the lights go out and no one phones or drops by. Where my work isn't sitting on the table near me or where the laptop isn't settled on my lap at the same time. In the dark. Giant screen. Total absorption. But there aren't always movies playing that take me on a trip away from stress. (Some even make me feel more stressed. . . )

 I would love a vacation--I know, it's only the second week of school--so that isn't going to happen any time soon. So, I take little mini-vacations in my head. I have a variety of "places" I visit, mental photos of places that relax me: The view from above Sundance when the fall leaves are all sorts of golds and reds against the dark evergreens. The Oregon coast at dusk when sound is as important as sight, waves washing on sand with gold sunlight a trail across the ripples. I visit these places in my head; they settle me and help me relax.
This is my newest addition to the collection:
It's the view from the Jackson Lake Lodge, just outside Yellowstone. I could sit there all day. When I first visited the lodge two years ago, the image of this view stayed with me. I hadn't taken a photo that visit, so as time passed I figured I must have imagined how impressive and relaxing it was. I didn't. This time I took a photo. The view is just amazing: lake, trees, blue sky, marsh grasses, and those peaks. We sat outside (squirrels everywhere) and then inside, spending several hours with this view in front of me. Just reading, thinking, breathing. I could sit there for days.
 I think this photo should be my screen saver. Reminding me to relax. And forget about cookies.


  1. You made me chuckle, but also loved the idea of a mini-vacation of the mind. I just had a chocolate chip cookie; some kind colleague left one for me. Teachers do eat a bunch, don't they? Good luck with the de-stressing!

  2. Love your reminders to de-stress. The photo of Jackson Lake Lodge is incredible. What a great peaceful reminder to take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty of the world! I think an occasional cookie is okay though! Everything in moderation, right? I think it's important to take time for ourselves as those we work with will reap the benefits as well!

  3. I destress the same way! Those little moments are really a key to our sanity. And the chocolate cookie thing--it can be bad! I fighting it right now! Have a great year. If you come up with another way to destress, be sure to share!

  4. I loved the way you described "in-the-theater movies." The string of short 2 and 3 word sentences was cool. I like the idea of mind vacations too.