Fall is now upon us and that is usually accompanied by starting to think about and feel some of the annual pressures in the planning and celebrating of upcoming holidays. Many feel some worries of how they are going to decorate for Halloween, and what costumes they need to get or make for their children or themselves, and how they might try and put a little fright into the trick-or-treaters who will be going house to house in their quest for a record setting amount of candy.
Many will be making phone calls thinking about who is going to do what, who is going to bring what, and will they be going "over the river and through the woods" to grandma's house for Thanksgiving, or will they be having everyone over to their house this year. And then comes who will be going to what store at midnight to get pushed, stepped on, and run into to grab as many Black Friday deals as possible.
That, then, is followed by four weeks of shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, card writing, socializing, partying, then cooking for the celebration of Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day. Add to this the additional worrying of what to buy for whom, and what if someone gives them a gift but they didn't get them one, etc.
J. Paul Lombardo
These next few months will bring about anxieties of not being able to get everything done to be ready for each of the upcoming holidays. It's funny how we only look ahead to what is in front of us, and never look back at holidays past and realize that, each year, we actually do get everything done and that all the worry, stress, and anxiety probably isn't necessary, but it will probably be expended again this year anyway, almost like it is a traditional part of each special season.
So before all of that planning, nervousness, pressure, and hustle and bustle takes place, if you are physically able, maybe you should enjoy this season of the year and the wonderful sights and sounds of nature, maybe even being hypnotized into a calmness before the rush of the holidays makes its way into your thoughts and adds to your daily worries.
The leaves are turning colors, nature's way of painting a cinematic-type, panoramic mural of beauty and serenity to enjoy and savor. On a sunny day, take a walk through a wooded area and see the beauty of nature's palette. Find a lake surrounded by, or amid, the backdrop of trees, and in the shiny calmness of that lake enjoy the mirror image of the portrait that nature has painted.
Listen to the concert of sounds that have been added to this picture, created by the baton and instruments of Mother Nature's Orchestra. Hear, and enjoy, the breezes blowing through the trees, sometimes creating sounds of whooshing, sometimes sounds of rustling, and sometimes increasing in intensity and turning into winds which create sounds of howling. Sometimes you can enjoy these sounds individually, or sometimes as a combination of some or all of these natural "melodies." Add to these sounds, the sounds of birds, insects, and maybe other animals, putting an even greater accompaniment to the visual picture brushed by nature for our enjoyment. As you sit there, looking, listening, smelling, etc., the thoughts of the upcoming holidays, and worries that accompany them, will be a million miles away.
A visit to an art gallery, or a ticket to a concert, might cost a pretty good amount of money to a supporter or patron. Spending a day amid the sights and sounds of Mother Nature will cost you the price of the gas to get you to where you can appreciate this day of entertainment. I venture a guess that the cost will be minuscule compared to a combination art gallery/concert ticket. The time spent enjoying a day like this is relaxing, soothing, calming, and can do wonders to re-energize the "internal batteries" before the "storm" of the planning, running around, and stressing with regards to the upcoming holidays comes about. It's literally a natural muscle relaxer, stress reliever, and tranquilizer, and you don't even need to worry if it's covered by your health insurance provider.
And for those who might not be able to physically get out into nature, have someone find you a "Sounds of Nature" CD, tape, or record, and listen to it with eyes closed and mind open. There are many wonderful audio pieces that can, and will, allow you to escape the hectic thoughts in your mind and enjoy nature's concerto, hopefully soothing some of those tense thoughts and moments.
It's medicinal, it's psychological, it's entertaining, and definitely, it's economical. So before the stress of the holidays moves into your lives, before the hustle and bustle in stores and markets is upon us, before the fears and worries of whether or not everything will be done on time, or as perfectly as you hope, arrives, walk away from what you might perceive as being the "real world," and go out into the real "real world," and open your senses, clear your heads, and enjoy what Mother Nature gives all of us at this beautiful time of year. And when the time is right, Happy Holidays, but not quite yet.