Stop Working and Start Playing

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I’ve been realizing more and more how absent “play” has been from my life. Whether I’m feeling like it or not, I force myself to work, and because writing IS my work, when I’m feeling creative, I still work, because that seems to be the most pressing thing in front of me—and no matter how much I work, there’s always more—more deadlines, new clients, emails to respond to, articles to edit; and the list goes on to infinity. So today, Saturday, I decided that I would not touch anything that resembles work. it hasn’t been easy. Every time I check my phone there’s a new email from a client wanting my attention; but it’s up to me to shut down that part of my life, because the trend I’ve developed is one where I’m consumed by what I need to do for others, and when I live like this—then there’s no room left to live for myself.

Today I woke up and walked around my new town, downtown Grass Valley, and allowed myself the time to look around and see all of the cute shops and quaint structures that line the streets of the place I now call home. I got a cappuccino, went to the bank and then came home where I had received a wind chime I recently ordered in the mail. I hung it on my patio and listened to it chime a way a beautiful tune as I tried to figure out how to apply for a travel visa for Thailand, which I’ve yet to figure out. But as the afternoon progressed onward I decided it was time to go explore the nature that surrounds my new home, specifically the Yuba River.

I’ve never been a fan of freeways, or taking the quickest route for that matter, so I took side streets knowing I would find a way to get to my destination; and after a few dead ends I found myself driving up Broad St. through Nevada City until I finally reached the 49 and was on my way. The road curved all around the mountains, but it was smooth and the way the sun shined through the massive pines surrounding me was breathtaking. I pulled off the 49 into a small lot for cars by the south end of the Yuba and I heard someone call out my name.

Now I’m new here and I only know a total of eight people, and two of them are out of town. Who could be calling my name, was it a mistake? I turn to the left and I see my friend Mahina waving her arms from the window of a big van that I’d never seen before. “I thought it was you,” she said. “I was just thinking about you earlier today.”

“Wow what a coincidence, I was thinking about you earlier today too!,” I said completely surprised.

She was on her way to give a massage up the mountain and noticed my truck so she pulled over. We hugged and smiled and chatted for a few minutes before she was off on her journey, and then I descended the stairs down to the Yuba. The stairs stopped about 30 ft. above the water and the rest of the path was made of a few spaces of dirt and branches and the rest was covered in massive rocks with the river stream flowing peacefully in between.

I hopped across a few boulders before deciding it would be wise to take of my shoes and walk through the stream to get to the other side, jumping from slippery rock to slippery rock seemed like a recipe for disaster, especially with my computer in my bag. I dropped a shoe in the water along the way, but swooped it up easily and now I’m sitting on the perfect, flat boulder watching the sun glimmer on the water and listening to the magic of the flowing the water. I’m feeling at complete peace, and I’m filled with so much joyful awe that I could cry at any moment. Thank you nature, thank Yuba, thank you life for leading me to this place that has been waiting for me all along.

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