Ultimately! A bit of fresh air and clean lungs! After a week of mornings in the barn brushing and shearing the cows and getting them ready for grader, a beautiful Wednesday morning gave me some much-needed time outdoors with my little farmer. A chance to clear my head and recharge my batteries.
He wasn’t too happy at first that he couldn’t go to work with dad, but he came back once we started making prints in the fresh powder. Sometimes doing things with mom can be fun too! Today’s to-do list told me I was supposed to run some errands, but when the big fluffy snowflakes stopped and the sun and blue sky came out, I realized the city could wait. As eager as I am for spring to arrive, we haven’t had too many of those perfect winter days this winter, so we still have to take advantage!
Snowsuits on, toboggan back in top form thanks to the best grandpa and snowshoes in hand, we set off in search of our favorite trails through the bush. The snowy hill was our destination, but we took the scenic route to get there. For the past three winters, I’ve done the same trails through the same bush, with the same little human, in the same old sled. Yet every time we go there is a new experience. The load gets heavier every year and the adventure is different depending on the day.
Now that my munchkin is more independent, the journey tends to take a little longer as he likes to make his own tracks. It’s the perfect way to slow down and look at the world through your eyes. To see the spark in them, as he giggles at the snow, I shake a branch at his face. We listen to the birds and try to tweet back to them, but its much more aggressive whistle tends to scare them away. Sometimes we see animal tracks, but other times it’s just the beautiful shimmer of a fresh blanket of snow. No trip is the same and that’s how we love it.
After having fun hurtling down the hill on his new toboggan, it’s time to warm up in the shop and get to work at his sand table. Which of course means I’m going home alone – the perfect opportunity to do a quick cleanup while the house is empty. But, I wasn’t ready to let go of the peace that this beautiful day had returned to my soul, so instead I lay down on the sparkling white blanket and made a snow angel. I closed my eyes and listened to the drip, drip, drip, swoosh, of snow melting and falling from the house. To the geese across the road and the cars in the distance. I did my best to keep my brain disconnected from the other 500 things in my mind and just focused on my senses.
I’ve never been very good at meditation, or even really believe it works – even with my background in psychology – but today I was reminded how important it can be to turn off your brain to your mental health. It may only last a second or two, but every bit counts. I was going back and forth every minute or so, but for a good five minutes I tried to just focus on my breathing and the warmth of the sun on my face. That’s long for someone with a busy brain like me! It was enough to recharge me and prepare me to face the rest of the day with new energy and a positive attitude.
We are often overtaken by the stress of life. We have too many things on our minds and on our to-do lists. We are constantly rushed to do everything and this often leads to negative words and thoughts, people getting hurt and things breaking. We may not mean what we say to people in the heat of the moment, but that still doesn’t make it okay.
We should all try to be aware of when we are pushing ourselves too hard and take the time to pause and shut down our brains for a while. Close your eyes, inhale, exhale, take a short nap, or step away from a situation to cool down. Whatever works best for you to give you a chance to refresh yourself, so you can tackle your tasks with a calmer, more positive attitude. The simplest of actions can sometimes completely change the meaning of the day for you and those around you!