When I was in my teens I started drinking coffee. I liked it with milk, sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top (early Starbucks adaptation). I would listen to music endlessly, and write poetry. What I didn’t realize was that I had created an outlet…a way to let my chi flow and to keep me sane. Later, the poetry stopped and I started sipping Perrier, riding my bicycle at night under the stars and eating Skittles. That was another outlet…everything just seemed perfect when those three things were in combination. As my life progressed and times got harder, I gripped onto those rituals as a way to remind myself that there are respites from the hardship. You can go buy a Slurpee at dusk and go sit on a bench and watch the sunset. You can put your running shoes on, crank the tunes and run until your Seratonin surges through your system.
Finding my outlets has saved my life. Depression runs in my family and I’m prone to my fair share of blue moods (especially after this last hell winter). When I start to spiral downwards, I can usually go for a run (it’s cheaper than therapy), select tunes that make me want to dance and let my mind relax for an hour. I basically run away from my sorrows. Nowadays I pretty much refer to these outlets as my amphetamines. They pick me up when I need them to. A few that still completely work are…
Road trips…with the windows down, the tunes blaring or a story unveiling and the feeling of ADVENTURE.
Slurpees…they just make me HAPPY and symbolize SUMMER!
The coffee hour…it’s all about having cool cups, and the perfect cream layer on top. I only have one espresso a day but somehow it has turned into my meditation-amp time.
Foreign films and cool old movie theaters…I have a sister who is eight years older than I am and when I was a teen she would whisk me off to see foreign films and introduced me to a whole new world. Afterwards I would feel antsy and want to explore. Whenever I watch a foreign film, I somehow feel enhanced…either by the sing song of the language or learning some tidbit about another culture, viewing another land…or just getting a glimpse of the world we live in.
A good read…what better way to escape, but in a book, someone else’s world. I love the feeling of stepping away from my computer, and actually wanting to head up to my bedroom early to return to the world within my book.
Alcohol…(and no…it’s not what you think). But…I do sometimes plan my day around my drink. As with my coffee, I often just have one drink with a meal or after. Sometimes it will be a chilled white wine at lunch with a pal, or a margarita on the rocks, a red wine with a meal, or an Aperol spritzer, or possibly a Limoncello or Ramazzotti after dinner… Somehow I have always loved how the Europeans ritualize their alcohol, without binging…just sips for certain meals or times of day.
Flowers…How can you not have good Feng shui in your home without fresh cut flowers? I prefer them from my garden, but sadly this winter obliterated any greenery I had. I have often thought that if I ever somehow fall into a pile of money…I would have a flower budget. You know…like the wealthy do, where a florist deposits huge bouquets once a week at your doorstep. Yes indeed, it would be lovely to have flowers all year round.
The ocean…no matter what the weather, I will ALWAYS love the ocean. I am definitely a coastal gal. New York surprised me as I always just imagined a concrete jungle, but on a good traffic day, I can be at the beach in half an hour…hearing the waves, smelling the salt, and gazing out into a blue nothingness.
Exploration…Every weekend I head out with my family on some sort of an exploration adventure, either to a botanical garden, a new neighborhood, meandering through streets hunting for street art, or off to a museum. I think I’ve seen more of NYC in two years than most of my neighbors.
I’m sure some of you out there have your own amphetamines, (chocolate, romance movies, bungee jumping…) I think being able to recognize them is the key part to enjoying them. Happy SUMMER!