Chasing Colors, Week Forty-Three in the New Abnormal
Manhattan is slower to display the vibrant array of Autumn colors associated with this season. I had planned to leave the city to enjoy the same lush views that friends had posted in their feeds. That never happened so I opted to wait for our city’s briefer period of transformation. It has yet to fully show itself. However, my walk to the North Woods in Central Park gave me a glimpse of what’s to come. The North Woods themselves are still greenish. But the walk to and from the north end of the park gifted me with moments of yellows, oranges and reds.
It's been a while since I’ve been able to enjoy a long walk in the park and I had to purposefully enjoy the walk rather than making the hunt for changing leaves the goal. Sometimes being intentional is an afterthought in my activities. And it almost was an afterthought when I suddenly realized how fortunate I was to have the afternoon off so that I could walk in Central Park. With that, my cadence shifted from racing to find new colors to being curious and excited about what I may find.
That shift was invaluable. It allowed me to view the beauty of the park and the city rather than coming from a position of deprivation. I began my walk feeling like I was missing Autumn’s splendor, but I was able to alter my perspective to one of appreciating the abundance of all Central Park offers. And, truth be told, I will get to see Fall Foliage in the weeks to come. That’s the joy of delayed gratification.
- If you find you are in a deprivation mindset, take a moment. Look again to see if you can specify something you appreciate. It may be that it’s sunny. It may be the cool air on your face. It may be gratitude that you can move parts of your body without pain. It may be you like being at home. Whatever it is, it’s not a substitute for feelings of deprivation, but it is a reminder that it’s not an all-or-nothing life.
- If you’re near a bathroom, don’t delay when you have to go. It’s a message to yourself and your body that your physical needs take priority. I got used to delaying until I couldn’t wait, because it’s what many of us learned in school, and, in my case, and perhaps yours, what I learned at home. It no longer needs to be that way. It’s a regular bodily function that supports our comfort.
- Send a friend or a family member a hand-written note. I know it’s passé, but as a boomer, I know the value of receiving mail that’s not junk or a bill.