I have a ritual every weekend.
I pack a bag with quality butter and local jam. Then I head over to my favorite bakery and I order whatever is right out of the oven for breakfast, (their croissants are to die for!) as well as a loaf of sourdough for lunch later on.
From there, I begin the long drive to whatever gorgeous place in Washington I'm going to explore for the first time.
The first hour in the car, I am always distraught. I feel anxious and like I should be at home making things. It's been so long since I've had the desire to create and I'm scared it's only here for a limited amount of time. I feel the need to spend every second at home creating while I have this 'magic' inside of me, before it's gone for who knows how long?
But I drive on anyway. Because operating off of fear only leads to me burning the candle at both ends. Think about it, if I did stay at home and create 24/7, wouldn't that fuck me up?
So I have to try to find balance, and hope that it sustains me over the long term. Which brings us to this weekend ritual which sounds utterly lovely but is actually a total struggle for me every time I do it.
But then an hour into the drive, my brain starts to unwind. My shoulders relax. My heads starts naturally working out problems I was unable to solve earlier. I still want to go back home, but my resolve grows stronger.
I always go on a hike during these weekend rituals. I often don't want to (I'd rather just see the sight and head back home to make) but I believe that getting into my body more and surrounding myself with nature is the best thing I can do for my lasting creativity and productivity.
It's always 30 minutes into a hike when I start really getting out of my head. When I start listening to the birds singing or smelling the fresh damp Earth here in the PNW or marveling at whatever gorgeous site is on the trail in front of me.
I start to feel super thankful to live here. I start to feel my body being active. I start to get into the moment again. When I find a nice spot to sit, I have my fresh sourdough bread, butter, and jam (such simple perfection). Sourdough bread is so crusty that it takes a while to eat, and forces me to slow down even more.
After the meal, I hike back to my car and usually drive around the area. Washington is uncommonly gorgeous and before I know it, I'm completely immersed in the moment, saying, 'holy fuck' under my breath as I drive on a cliffside overlooking the San Juan islands, or coming across fields of wild swans in a valley surrounded by snow-covered peaks.
Before I know it, it's time to head back, and to my surprise, I'm never ready! I always stretch out my trip by another hour, eager to explore a cute little town or take a drive around the countryside a little longer.
And then I finally get home, exhausted, happy, ready for dinner, and recharged once more. So, for as long as they continue to refresh and ground me, I will continue my lovely weekend rituals. Maybe they're the reason I'm not burning out again.