stop. look. listen. smell.

It’s December 4. It’s 73 degrees outside. It’s wonderful!

I live in a part of the world where it’s supposed to be cold this time of year, and normally it is. But, today is an exception and one I’m very happy for. I threw on my shorts and t-shirt and took a jog through the 80 year old, very tall pine trees. Above me, the crows called and the smaller birds made rustling noises in the bushes. I heard the leaves chasing me as the subtle breeze blew.

Making a loop through my small hometown, I saw folks out in sweatshirts and I wondered “Didn’t they get the memo? It’s so warm out here!” Some of the older folks probably thought I was crazy and they were probably muttering how I was going to give myself a cold. Little do they know that I’m on the tail end of a sinus infection and the fresh air did me lots of good.

When I got close to being back to my destination, I made myself stop jogging. My body told me I could run for miles, but my mind said “Stop. Look. Listen. Smell.” So, I obeyed. I slowed down to a walk and took in all the sights, scents and sounds. I sat down to stretch my legs on the trail and it dawned on me that I hadn’t been in the woods by myself in silence in a very long time. I thought about how my new job has given me more time to enjoy life and take care of my mental and physical being. For that, I am very thankful.

Too often, I think we get hung up in the day to day and don’t take a minute to appreciate nature and outdoor air. I encourage you to get out more often – I know I will.

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