My intention in starting this column was to speak my truth openly and about tricky topics, things we hide or avoid because they aren’t pretty: body struggles, anxiety, sad days, relationship concerns and that negative, nagging urge to compare ourselves to others.
I’ve experienced my share of all of the above and still do. I worried this week about what to write because I always want it to “matter,” to make someone feel less alone, or to remind us all that being kind and doing our best are the most important things in life. But while stressing over an “important” topic, I realized relief can come from keeping things simple.
On a daily basis, my brain goes anywhere from “I need to stop procrastinating” (as I type this, I’m behind on my deadline and it’s giving me serious angst) and “I really need to get back to the gym” (it’s been a solid six months and I know my mental health needs it) to “Have I been so caught up in my own sh*t that I’ve fallen short on being a truly present friend?” And that’s just the tip of my mental iceberg. An overactive brain can imprison us.
On Sunday, my boys went to Miami for the Monster Truck thing (I’m sure the event had an actual name), so it was just my baby girl and me for the day. She’s 2 and quite happy to bounce around at home playing princess in her playhouse and talking gibberish to her stuffed unicorn. It’s been one social event or kid activity after another lately and I relished the idea of spending the day on the couch, ordering delivery and watching Dylan do endless somersaults while sneaking in some episodes of “Vanderpump Rules.” I considered it. But I also knew it was the worst thing I could do for ME. I’ve been in my head a lot lately and choosing inaction makes it worse.
So I made a decision to get off my butt and get dressed. I then spent seven hours, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., hopping around downtown. I didn’t try to document the day on social media, or meet someone for lunch. It was just my little stinker and me, often lost in our own thoughts as I pushed her in the stroller up and down the waterfront more times than I can count. Taking in the sights, breathing the ocean air and just getting out of the house was truly cathartic — and more necessary than I’d realized.
I had no plans, obligations or expectations and was surprised to realize the easy outing helped quiet the chaos in my mind. The surrounding Key West craziness somehow silenced my erratic thoughts and constant concerns. And in the end, that’s what “matters.”
Of course, sunshine and eccentric people-watching were just icing on the cake.