June 16, 2014


When you are overwhelmed and stressed to the hilt, where is your Go-To space to unwind or vent?

Does your Go-To depend on the time of year or time of day?

Drive-time has an influence on my respite destinations. If I am completely wound up, I head for Whiskey Creek at Whiskeytown Lake. All my favorite unwind tools can be found there; mountains, trees, body of water and quiet. Perfect space for deep breathing, mind clearing and making mellow! Mostly perfect. There are times of the year when salmon are on their life-long mission to feed the bears. I find that looking over my shoulder for large furry mammals with fish breath and the anxiety of wondering if I will be Fish-breath's dessert is counter-productive to relaxation.

There are many times that I don't wait for stress to launch me in the direction of my favorite space. Random books will whisper to me to grab a pear and a quilt and take said book to visit the mountains and trees where it will share it's words, sentences and paragraphs with me. Sometimes my journal and favorite pen convince me that the short drive would benefit us all.

Now, there are times when the stress is partially dictated by time. I have a couple of quick Go-To's. If I am in pedestrian mode, my Rex and I will walk to the Diestlehorst Bridge and watch the river flow, again, some of my buddies are present, mountains, trees, body of water. Peace can be found there but quiet is a matter of perception.  If I am operating a fossil-fuel based vehicle and have a limited time frame, I find there are two spaces alongside the Sacramento River that inspire peace and tranquility.

There is a wonderful space beside Hat Creek I call my own bit of paradise, though I have sneaking suspicions that it isn't truly my own. I am often greeted with impressions in the dirt at the edge of the creek. The indiscretions abound, as footprints often include boots, bare feet, tennis shoes, dog or coyote, bear, squirrel otter, chipmunk, deer and reptile! I'm hoping those really big ones belonged to a Great Dane or St. Bernard and not a mountain lion.

Some long distance Go-To's include Gold Beach, Oregon, Lithia Park in Ashland, a nameless creek on the Pit River arm of Shasta Lake, a certain bench at Capitola's little promenade and the Rewoods.

There are a couple of Go-To's within arm's reach. My bedroom, my living room, my backyard or floating in my pool, eyes closed, limbs relaxed, every body part submerged but nose and lips. Nice!

Have you thought about your Go-To spaces?

What about your Go-To people!

Who do you feel safe with when the world gets too heavy for your shoulders?

I have several good friends with whom I can talk about anything. When anxiety pulls on me like gravity and my fingers are slipping their hold on the bar of sanity, threatening a long fall into the pit of darkness, my sister, Sherree, is my Go-To.  Julie has been-there for me for years and years and years and Lyn is fairly recent, but all-in.  Robin is a sister-in-law but one of the best listeners in the world. Those four women are all Joan of Arc's and help me slay dragons if need be.

Have you got any other Go-To's? Vodka, Running, Shoes?

If all is well, I love a glass of wine (or two) but try to stay away from alcohol if the pit of despair is looming. I lean more towards Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia therapy! Though, now that I am supposed to be meat-eggs-dairy-free, I might have to keep some strawberry-rhubarb-ginger sorbet in the freezer for those Need-A-Go-To moments.

Music and showers are good therapy, as well as, swimming, working with clay or watching French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Klein are good Go-To's/  Folding towels works too, as long as I don't have to put the suckers away.

Meditation works, prayer is good. I also find that primal screaming works wonders in the privacy of your car.

I found the best relief though comes from climbing trees and, of course, flying!


  1. You live to a wonderful place! I love rivers and lakes.

  2. This is a beautiful area. Rivers, lakes, mountains all within minutes from the house.


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