At about 3:00pm yesterday, I woke up from an accidental two-hour nap.
Needless to say, I felt like I was going to die.
My arms and legs were heavy, my eyes were protesting staying open, my body as a whole was trying to reason with me—let’s just go back to sleep, we’ll wake you up at 2:30am so you’re terrified and confused, but still, this is the right choice.
It took me a while, but I got myself up, and I moved all the way from the couch to the recliner. Then I took a break and scrolled on Instagram for a while.
Over the next couple hours, I had spurts of trying to be productive. Of looking at my to-do list, of opening up a Word document and trying to write today’s blog, of trying to get myself motivated to clean or craft. But then I would just sink back into the chair. I would scroll through Instagram Reels and look at the clock, saying, in 10 more minutes, I’ll close the app and do something else. In 15 more minutes. Well, now I might as well wait until the half hour mark.
I was barely paying attention to anything I was watching, but I just…kept…watching.
Until suddenly, my phone flashed low battery.
As if it was a life raft passing me by, I stood up, plugged in my phone, and went into my room and changed into some workout clothes. Then I put on my hiking shoes and I walked out the door.
On one of the trails close to my house, I put in my headphones and turned on a podcast. I walked underneath shady trees and huffed up steep hills. I saw people walking with strollers, partners, and in large groups and small groups. Water bottles swung in stride and dogs’ tongues hung out in satisfaction.
A girl rode shakily by on a bicycle. She lifted her hand nervously to thank me for letting her pass, then gripped tight on the handlebar as she continued to pedal. Close behind her, a younger girl rode an even smaller bike, her helmet almost too big for her head, and behind her was a dad, whose eyes shifted between each girl, watching with pride and worry.
An older couple sat in folding chairs looking out at the creek, with makeshift trays in front of them as they ate dinner at golden hour.
A man walked at a leisurely pace in front of me, picking up sticks and branches that blocked or jutted out into the trail.
As the sun went down and it got cooler, more people showed up. Families piled out of cars, with kids taking off down the trail. People tied long sleeve shirts around their waist in case a breeze picked up on their walk back.
Everyone smiled, everyone waved.
On my drive home, I saw people out on walks and runs and bicycle rides. People carrying smoothies and ice cream cones and who, like me, were probably on their way home for dinner.
We had all gone out to bask in the perfection of a May evening. When the weather is nice, the flowers are in full bloom, and golden hour is so peaceful you wish you could catch it in a bottle.
We’d all said, either to ourselves or to our partners, our friends, or our families, let’s get outside for a bit, and we’d all been rewarded.
Leave a Reply