Wednesday, November 09, 2011

You Need More Greens

Many years ago when my son was a teenager just a year away from college, we had reached that stage that some families reach where you are terrified that your child cannot make it on his own, and yet, you are so sick of dealing with him that you want him out of the house.  Yes, some families do not have to undertake crises management with their children, and you are blessed.  You can believe it is because you were such a great parent, but in reality, luck of the gene pool has something to do with this.  (Your gene pool...not your child's.)  He did end up being forced to go to a therapist for a handful of times, which resulted in a diagnosis of depression.  Glad my health insurance covered this waste of time.  When he found out the insurance would run out and we would be paying out of pocket for the sessions he refused to go.  He insisted he was smarter than the therapist, and I actually think he was!  I tried to get him to test several therapists to find one he liked, but he has the same stubborn dynamic of his dad.  He wanted to deal with his life on his own, a sometimes dangerous decision.

Anyway, he did survive college (majoring in that super useful undergraduate degree, Psychology, oddly enough) and went on with additional training to become a successful sound engineer.  He recently won an award as sound mixer for the year from his company.  He still has issues with mild mood swings, but can deal with it without relying on drugs or alcohol.  We are blessed for that.

I remember his freshman year when dropping him off that I noticed a lovely woods near the campus.  I told him that was the place to work out issues.  Lone walks, intensive runs, whatever he could squeeze in to help with the stress of college.  He actually agreed with me.

To this day, we both realize that the great outdoors is the place to go when life seems so heavy you are down on your knees and knuckles facing the dirt with the hot sun at your back.

In the November issues of Newsweek magazine, Dr. Andrew Weil (one of those new age hippie philosophers), emphasized the importance of getting away from our artificially created environment whenever we can.  The noise of city life, the smells, the continual stimulation is ruining us.  The stimulus of technology which brings us instant entertainment, instant stimulation, superficial connections with people, and overwhelming information is not something our brains and senses were designed to assimilate in such constant and large quantities.  Most of us now have sedentary indoor jobs which are also unhealthy.  Our natural sleep cycles and other circadian rhythms are not followed.  "Human beings evolved to thrive in natural environments and in bonded social groups."  Depression has become so common that children today have been diagnosed with 'nature-deficit disorder.'

Sitting in a field or on a cliff is not as exciting as shooting down a helicopter with your remote control and not as compelling as checking Facebook on your phone every 15 minutes.  But I feel safe in insisting it will keep you alive so much longer and that you will actually enjoy your life so much more.

Now, turn off the PC and go talk a walk.


  1. You are so right. I am addicted to mine, but there comes a time when I just can't stand it for another minute.

    I love being out of doors in good weather, but I am dreading winter already.

  2. I am so grateful for my back yard for this very reason
    If I can't get out and about I can go out there and talk to the trees and feed the squirrels and feel part of the universe

    the reflection is amazing!!

    thanks for your visit
    I love it when I make people laugh

  3. Oh not in the dark and wet please......

  4. So right, yet here I am, and in the other room the AM news is blabbing away. Still, even in the iffy weather a walk seems to clear out the personal cobwebs.

  5. Good post with a positive recommendation. It is a beautiful day here and I am going out to take advantage.

  6. I totally believe in nature as the healer. I am happier now with my computer where I have windows all around it than before when it did have one window but not a large one next to the desk. Doing something outside is always more healing though. When the weather is cold, we just have to pile on more clothes, get thermal underwear. No thrill but it works.

  7. No argument here. I'm very lucky to have a little piece of nature.. my pond in the middle of the suburbs. It allows me to breathe.. think.. unwind.. and remember what it's all about.

    I've never heard the term 'nature-deficit disorder' but it does indeed make sense to me.

  8. Yup, I used to walk at least three miles a day and swim three to five hours. Now I sit. The more I sit, the better I feel. Arthritis is a funny disease that tells you the weather but doesn't make you laugh.

    Today I hefted books for three hours and got a pretty good workout. Speaking of books, in this case blue books, those blue spines are on the older books. The sun pours in the windows, and reds, yellows and all those other colors vanish. Blues and blacks remain.

  9. Yes, Ma'm, I would, honest, I would, but it's nearly eleven at night and I shall go and have a drink now, before I toddle off to my bed with a good book.
    Will that do?

    You are one of the most sensible women I know, I'd love to have you for a neighbour, I bet we'd get on, though we may both be a bit cranky at times.

    Glad your son sorted out his problems, I wish my daughter, about whom I never blog, would too.

    Thank you very much for your fulsome praise on my blog: a bit excessive, methinks. You got me all wrong.

  10. If it were not 10:30 p.m. I would do just that. :)

    But, tomorrow morning, my friends (the ones that are not inside my computer :) ) and I are playing tennis...outdoors!

    I'm happy for your son; that he got through it. Hope it continues.

    And you're right... sometimes the gene pool can be vengeful.

  11. I can cut through our back field to visit our closest neighbor but usually I drive over there instead. I am ashamed. Of course I do get out several times a day to take care of the animals but I don't really stop and take note of nature like I should. Perhaps today things will change...and perhaps not,

  12. Your last line is magnificent advice. As soon as the workday is over, I shall follow it!

  13. I used to read a lot of Dr Weil.

  14. Good idea!! I will do it

  15. Glad to her your son can take his difficulties out of doors and manage them there. It's been my life-long habit to be out of doors as much as possible. Nothing has happened to me (not facing the death of loved ones, accepting the loss of home and the distance of beloved children or the pain of divorce) that being out of doors has not helped. I have always made sure I am surrounded by woods and fields where I can walk by myself and yet never feel alone. You are a wise woman to have offered your self and your child such a sensible solution. We are, after all, creatures of the earth as well as the stars.

  16. Tabor, I smile because I read the same artical and it is on my desk.
    I love nature, my garden, writing and my camera - but have decided to turn computer on in the morning to check emails and special people and turn it off for the day.
    Have been spending to much time on computer and with winter coming on that is not good for me or us...

  17. nature-deficit disorder. I agree completely. Personally, I think the human race has gone insane for all those very reasons.

  18. perfectly said, and so true.
    Great post.

  19. Great post!
    I am happy for your son!


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