September 8th, 2010

At the bottom of a long, hot arduous trail in Yosemite this summer, we ended up at a spectacular river that was crystal clear and icy cold from snow melt in the high country. Peeling off shoes and socks and plunging in to cool off was a revitalizing pause between hiking down and the long haul back up in unaccustomed high altitude. Sometimes we need a pause between stages of life, I think, but it’s a luxury not many of us have. After all, we have to keep going to work even when we don’t feel we’re doing a great job. We have to take care of the kids, even when we forget why we wanted to be parents. We have to sleep in the same bed, even when we wonder why we married the person we’re sharing it with. And life just keeps sweeping us along in its current, so how do we find a way to sit on the bank, cool off and gather energy to continue on?  I particularly need to press Pause right now in order to give my brain a break from pawing over stale, overworked ideas. I’m going to start by doing something totally different and unconnected with my job — a weekend of watercolors instead of words. I’ll keep my hands busy so my mind can relax and spin some new stories in the background without being hitched up to plow the same field day after day. The brain craves novelty and fresh experiences and play, and I’ve been treating mine like a work horse. Time to giddy-up and take it for a joy ride.

4 Responses to “Pause/Refresh”

  1. Diane says:

    “. . . so how do we find a way to sit on the bank, cool off and gather energy to continue on?” Oh, I wish the answer to this question were simpler for so many people I love. The whole idea of the necessary pause – I buy that idea. You’re right, though; life keeps sweeping us along and it’s confusing and a challenge to figure out how one might arrange for that pause. Those feet in the cold water – a persuasive, calming image. Love it. I want that feeling of stillness . . . and I want it for several other people I know. Glad YOU have arranged for a possible “pause” this weekend.

  2. Val Palk says:

    I love the idea of a pause between stages of life and time to mentally readjust. You put into words so well the feelings that I experience at this later stage of my life. Where has all that time gone?

  3. Claire says:

    It’s been far too long since I’ve submerged myself in a river and let myself start over.

  4. Leigh says:

    I’m just starting a new job/life and Fridaville is incredibly refreshing when things get crazy. Thanks for sharing your words with the world.

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