I’ve started walking. Every day. And not just regular city walking, but deliberate, mindful walking. I go fast, for at least fifteen minutes, usually closer to forty. And I head directly to the closest green space.
At my office, that’s the park by the Hudson. Even in the cold, in the spitting snow, I’ve walked. I hit the cobblestones, hear the lapping water, smell the wet loamy earth, see the stalks of the leafless trees and something in my soul releases. I can breathe.
At home, I hike through residential streets to Prospect Park. I find the lake, the ducks, the crackle of sticks and dirt under my shoes. I see the sky–blue or gray or masked by rain–and I can breathe.
Now, I see that my body was on to something.
The difference between natural and urban landscapes is how they command our attention. While man-made landscapes bombard us with stimulation, their natural counterparts give us the chance to think as much or as little as we’d like, and the opportunity to replenish exhausted mental resources.
–”How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies“, TheAtlantic.com
Charlie: Where’s my birthday?
Me: You mean where is your birthday party?
Me: At the zoo.
Me: On Sunday.
Charlie: When’s Sunday?
Me: Well, today is Monday, so…
Charlie: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday…
Me: Sunday. So in one week.
Me: Your birthday party.
Charlie: Where is it?
Me: At the zoo.
That’s when I laugh because this could go on all day.
The Valentine’s Day card that made me tear up was this one, because I could read it without too much trouble at all.
Dear Stacy, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you. I am making a valentine for the best mom ever. Happy Valetine’s. From Charlie
Marvin was one of my favorites. It’s about a boy who is born with a hole in his head. One day, when he has a cold, he sneezes out his common sense and spends an adventurous day looking for it.
At one point, he deliberately misses the bus because he knew it would be better to hop on one foot the whole way instead. He ends up at the zoo, making friends with animals and getting into scrapes, and then, when he finds his common sense, he realizes it was the best day he’s ever had and decides to remove his common sense again, when the notion strikes.
Marvin’s adventures reminded me of the choices Charlie often makes, the ones that seem to make no sense. (I can just see him deciding that hopping on one foot would be much better than taking the bus.) And I thought, maybe that’s what it’s like for someone with ADHD. Roaming around looking for “something,” finding other things instead, making choices others don’t understand, but having fun all the same.