There is a fictitious place that we always used to hear about and were told to go there whether it was frustrations with homework, a breakup or any annoyance; we were told to go to our happy place. I never knew where this place was or how I could find it and still to this day at 32 years’ old, I have my moments where I struggle to find it. In my teens, I would go play soccer (usually losing my temper and making it worse) to drinking a little too much in my 20s, I was always searching. I started running more and more and that was doing the trick pretty well, so as with most things that we think we have figured out in our 20s, it all came crashing down.
While on active duty in the Navy, I was diagnosed with stress fractures in both shins and was told no impact for 6 months and no boots. A few weeks later, I was told that I was deploying on a warship and basically to suck it up. After months of living on 800 mg Motrin and barely being able to walk, I got flown off the ship in a walking boot that was my new footwear for almost six months. It was not a good time as I thought that my happy place was gone forever. I tried listening to music and writing but all I wanted to do was run. Before eventually getting medically separated from the military, I was sent to physical therapy and was lucky enough to have a running guru as my therapist. He retaught me how to run correctly which was completely different than I was used to. It was a difficult transition but I kept working on it. I learned quickly, as with most things, that overdoing it would turn me back to the life of Motrin, ice packs and limping and I did not want that!
I have since found that there is no singular happy place. I work hard to make sure that there is a balance in my life, I know that I need to sweat it out a few times per week, quiet time goes a long way, kayaking, fishing, biking, beaching and I’m recently finding a relief in writing these blog posts. After going glamping with the family and leaving work and homework back in civilization was a great way to recharge and reconnect with what is important in my life. Without striking a true work/life balance, a person will never be happy. The mystical happy place is a mixture of the things that make you happy, like most things in life there is no definitive correct answer, there is a large grey area that is full of many options and only maturity can help you to decide what is best at that specific time to deal with that stressor. No two people are the same but if anyone wants to join me in my happy place, I would love the company and I promise you can keep my pace!
Stay strong and fit out there dads!