If you look across all of my social media platforms you will find a picture of the same park bench in the header. It’s because this bench has played a very significant role in getting me to where I am right now.
I can’t remember when I started but it must be close to 5 years. Every lunch hour at work I would head out towards this favourite place of mine. It didn’t matter if it was the middle of summer or in the dead of winter. If it was still possible to get there, I would dress appropriately and go.
Once there I would simply sit down and gaze out over the water for about 30 minutes. I would use that time for any number of things. I would meditate. I would ponder the deepest spiritual questions of my own existence. I would wonder what I should be doing with my life. I would use it as an escape and for a minute or two pretend I never had to anywhere else to go. Or on those beautiful windy fall days I would just enjoy the scenery around me.
In probably an unhealthy way I came to depend on this daily sanctuary from work. I started planning my day around making sure I got to my park bench, even as the benefits of going started to become less and less. It started to become a source of anxiety. What if I don’t have the time? What if the weather isn’t bearable? What if I have too much to do?
The intense relaxation that I experienced when I first started going was replaced by this sense of urgency about getting some kind of clarity before heading back to work. And the more you try to make realizations happen, the more elusive they seem to be.
Ultimately I began to understand that this phase was over. Enough thinking, pondering, and contemplating. It was time for me to start doing something. I am pretty happy looking at where I am heading right now and I owe a lot of it to that daily ritual.
I still go back to that park bench, but without the anxiety. Sometimes it’s just nice to look out over the water.