Sometimes you don't have to get out of the car to enjoy a day trip!

I had a friend tell me the other week that she had an overworked, overscheduled week that amounted to one long bad mood.  On Friday after work, she said she went to the beach bypassing the crowds and, instead, laid her body in the sun fully clothed on top of an empty picnic table.  Not that I’m advocating this sort of behavior since picnic tables are meant for sitting not laying on, but I do think it illustrates the point of getting a change of scenery without necessarily stepping totally inside the scene.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you don’t want to be a part of the world; in other words, instead of going fully into the community sandbox, you want to sit on the edge.  This limbo position I believe serves its purpose.  Once, while I was conducting a program at the Norma Pfreim Breast Care Center, a woman shared an inspiring story.  After she had lost her husband at a very young age to cancer, she found herself isolated and grieving alone for weeks on end.  One day she decided to go out—but not all the way out.  Lo and behold, she went on a day trip.  She drove herself to an outdoor summer festival.  Mind you, she did not leave her car.  She sat in her front seat as an observant.  Kids laughed.  Adults noshed on pizza and ice cream.  Ferris wheels whirled.  The scene gave the woman hope in that it served as a symbolic transition that one day she too would join life again.

So, on those days that you feel you don’t want to be a part of things, remember you don’t always have to get into the sandbox to have a good time and refresh, rejuvenate and rejigger.*

*  “Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online,” In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less; NYT, January 2, 2010.