I have been in Palm Springs for the past few days for a conference for work. It has been lovely. I have met wonderful, really supportive and encouraging people while here. One thing I have found is that I get terribly exhausted being at conferences, being “on” all the time, meeting new people, talking, remembering names, where you’re from, etc.
The clouds look unreal!!
Today, however, the conference was wrapping up and I wasn’t much involved in the remaining sessions. I had a late afternoon flight and so went for a hike that had been recommended to me, the Museum Trail. I found the trail head, which was appropriately located behind the Palm Springs Museum of Art that I wish I had had time to visit. Oh well, leaves something to see next time I visit Palm Springs.
I was listening to an audio book, the weather was just perfect, and I chugged along my way. As the elevation increase, so did my adrenaline and desire to go faster, to feel the burn in my thighs and the sweat drip down my arm. The terrain was also such that I was taking uneven steps on unstable earth. Some steps were quick and small and others felt as though I was rock climbing–using my whole body to hoist myself up ahead.
The best feeling however, was the sun on my skin. There is nothing like rays of sunshine tingling your bare skin and warming both your body and your soul.
I was deep into my hike, practically running up the little mountain when my audio book stopped. The battery can’t be out, I thought, I had charged it the previous night. Then after the 2 seconds of silence, the phone ring came through my earphones. I wonder who could be calling me? I fished my phone out of my jacket pocket that was rolled up and tied around my waist. I read the name and my heart jumped, I had been waiting for this call the whole time I was in Palm Springs. Welcome break. I found a boulder and parked my panting self on it to take the call. This is very unusual, I normally don’t carry my phone on hikes but I wanted to take photos and listen to my audio book. And I was glad I did.
I sat in the warm sun and watched the foxtails blow in the wind as I caught up with a dear friend.
I finished my hike and bounced back into town, high off my hike. I popped into a frozen yogurt shop and bought myself a coconut frozen yogurt with fresh berries and almonds. It was a welcome treat after the strenuous hike in the midday sun.
And here I sit now, writing this, at the Palm Springs airport…which is half outdoors! I love that, to be in a place so nice year round that half the structure is outdoor and lined with palm trees. United Airlines had oversold my flight and was offering vouchers for volunteers to take a later flight. If I can, I am happy to volunteer in these types of situations. I don’t have anybody waiting for me at home, no kids requiring attention, and a flexible schedule. The gentleman at the United counter was so appreciative, he told me his stress level went down tremendously now that he had a volunteer.
I pondered that…stress. I know I stress myself out unnecessarily, too and I really want to work on that because stress is toxic. It is perhaps the biggest culprit for health-related woes and I am just beside myself with the fact that I allow myself to let stress take over. But I remembered the advice I gave a friend not long ago, life is a constant adjustment in the eternal search of achieving balance. So here I am again, making small adjustments to alleviate stress. Reminding myself that I am in control of my schedule and my routine and how I respond to external stressors.
So while I wait the few hours for my next flight, I sit in the airport, I will go for a walk, drink lots of water, and read the lovely book I’m reading, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I only started it so I can’t give much of a review but you can imagine the premise of the book, tidying up your house and your life. It’s really inspiring and maybe the push many people need to get their lives (and homes) de-cluttered and tidy.