I had a plan for this morning– forego my usual routine: tea, medicine, food, and lounging for a few hours to instead get dressed, coat my arms and legs in insect repellent and drive away to walk the Lehigh Portland Trails while the weather was still nice.
…do you spot the numerous problems with my plan to be spontaneous and seize the day?
As I drove closer to Iola, I was reminded why I have a routine in place. Why I don’t do anything in the morning unless I absolutely have to.
I approached the trails, feeling the effects of no breakfast (I hadn’t been hungry and not eating amps my anxiety), I was already thirsty but had forgotten to bring water, and there was the slight panic of being in unfamiliar territory causing that all too unpleasant cramping feeling in my stomach.
However, I did make it to the trail. So did quite a few others based on the number of parked vehicles – I opted to come back another day when there were less people, and/or less COVID potentially flitting about.
…once I made that decision to turn around, I felt much better. No cramping. No small feeling of panic. Relief.
Despite not having fully reached my goal, I was proud of myself for at least making the drive there. Most specifically, proud that I tried to go in the morning when my anxiety is at its worst…and I was also unmedicated (it sometimes makes me drowsy- I don’t like to take it if I will be driving within the hour).
I’d lie if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed- I didn’t used to be so freaked out visiting new places. And it’s frustrating that it takes me a little bit in the morning to reach a point where I feel awake/functional.
But at least I’m trying to take baby steps so my anxiety doesn’t get worse. I have to keep being uncomfortable to become more comfortable, along with taking my meds.
Although I didn’t get to go hiking at Lehigh, I was still able to spend time in nature- I wasn’t going to let my insect repellent go to waste.
Seriously, it smells awful and I was going to have to take a shower anyway.
So I drove to Mom’s with the intent to gather more wildflowers for upcoming projects and to pick baby walnuts for my friend, Katie, who uses them to make some sort of fancy Italian booze.
I knew being surrounded by plants, insects, and animals was what I needed, even though it probably would have been better to go home for a little bit to eat, drink some tea, and feel normal/centered/not in a daze.
…I mainly didn’t want to come home to relax a little because I stank of repellent. Because there was no way I was going to come home, shower, relax, reapply said repellent, go get hot and sweaty walking about only to have to take ANOTHER shower when I was finished.
I like to get stinky and sweaty in one fell swoop.
But I did stop home for roughly five minutes before heading back out because I needed food and caffeine to keep functioning.
Here’s the quick summary of how my nature pillaging went because I’m starting to lose steam and my laptop may restart in the next few minutes– didn’t think it through when I chose the “In an hour” option. I just wanted it off of my screen.
Oh, Amber. Sigh.
And now we have the spoils from my pillaging nature trip:
I was able to see two of my little sisters. Discovered four stalks of rogue wheat…and decided to have them come home with me. Stumbled upon two fairly large, but friendly, turtles. Gathered walnuts for Katie’s booze. LOTS OF BUTTERFLIES. Saw three different species of milkweed. Took a picture of a monarch that didn’t care at all at how close I was to it.
I also found a creepy looking fungi, almost flesh colored- could have made a cameo in Silence of the Lambs or been part of Ed Gein’s nipple belt. Lots of hay bales. AND A GIGANTIC MOTH ON A HAY BALE.
I then came home to pick two fresh strawberries, found a shell fossil amongst the new dirt in the backyard, and watched my baby fish swim around.
All in all, it’s been a great foraging day.
And the shower afterward was fantastic. I smell delicious again. Or at least moderately so. Enough that I’m not going back outside.
I’ve been rather content to sit here and half watch a 90’s anime on Amazon Prime in my glitter sweats and the gentleman caller’s t-shirt. Pretty sure this is going to be how the rest of the day goes.
More posts to come.