Hi, this is a blog post about a hammock. Specifically, I’m about to gush with adoration for a piece of high tenacity nylon taffeta. Hear me out.
Husband is a recently admitted shopaholic. He finds such enjoyment in making purchases. He lives for today. Sometimes I’m on board with this habit (when he buys things for me), sometimes I’m not (ordering a new tent when we already own 3). At a trip to REI early in the summer, we decided we needed a hammock. It would be fun to lounge around Seattle parks and to take camping, especially one large enough to fit both of us. There was some minor research involved, then we settled on the eno doublenest, and I got to pick the color. While blue is usually my signature color, the orange & grey version spoke to me. It said “I’m the one you want, pick me!” I definitely heard it.
The hammock and straps sat unused for a few weeks, until one Monday night we took it to an outdoor chamber music in the park event in our neighborhood. There just happened to be two trees the perfect distance apart, the hammock was hung and our lives WERE FOREVER CHANGED. When it was my turn to hop in, lie down & relax, I looked up at the tops of the trees and felt transported to the most peaceful existence. I’m already obsessed with trees, naturally I’d find hanging comfortably from trees the greatest place ever.
Ever since that day, we’ve found several other spots to suspend the hammock and have a picnic, read a book, nap, gaze across a lake. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to implement a ‘no phones in the hammock’ rule, but that hasn’t quite panned out. My eyes are often in search of the perfect trees in which to hang a hammock, or on the lookout for other hammock-lovers lounging so I can make a note of potential future locations. A quick google search of best places to hammock in Seattle didn’t produce much, so perhaps it shall be my duty to pen a list and publish it to the masses? Stay tuned.
I’ve been working with my therapist to change my behaviors that no longer suit me as an adult. Behaviors that were learned and/or a coping mechanism as a child. I thought I was just easy-going and indecisive, but truthfully it is more like the suppression of my preferences, needs and desires in efforts to avoid causing pain, uncomfortableness or guilt of others. I do a lot of approval-seeking from other people, and after 30-something years of this behavior, I often don’t know what it is I truly want or need in any given situation. I’m almost always concerned with everyone else and ensuring their needs are considered and accommodated, most times subconsciously. In efforts to change these behaviors, I’m trying to check in with myself more, ask what do I really want or need, and make an effort to do things that make me feel a sense of deep contentment.
Recently Andrew was traveling to California for work, so I had several days on my own which would prove to be the perfect opportunity to avoid relying on anyone but myself to make a plan for the weekend. I dropped Andrew at the airport at 4am (wife of the year nominee?), went home and back to bed for a couple more hours, then gathered my hammock and some other essentials for a day trip. As I was at the Costco gas pump filling my car, I checked the weather app to see the forecast for the Washington coast, which was my intended destination. Hmm high of 62F was not quite what I had prepared for. This was the perfect opportunity to back out on myself. Nah, I’ll just head home and do something around here instead, and in three hours be sitting at home annoyed with myself that I didn’t follow through.
Time for Plan B – Lake Cushman. It was only about an hour and a half from home, and I could stop and grab some snacks somewhere along the way. This will be Mary’s Day Out, I decided. As I was driving on I-5 south, I realized one of my favorite grocery store & deli was right on the way, so I pulled in and wandered around for about 30 minutes and $55 worth of food and natural deodorants. OK, so turns out I’m an expensive date for myself. Whatever, I was happy.
I arrived to the lake early enough to find the very perfect location to set up my hammock. It was far enough to the northeast corner of the lake where it was quiet and away from anyone at all. I sat in the hammock for three hours, overlooking the lake. I did some writing, enjoyed a picnic lunch, listened to podcasts, took lots of selfies. I left when I felt satisfied and wanted to get home to the cats. It was a day of me time, practicing figuring out what I really wanted in each moment and did exactly that, and it was sublime.
I’m learning more about myself, and practicing behaviors that fulfill my soul and mind, and it’s resulted in several weeks where I’ve felt present and so very happy. Amazing how that happens when we take care of our own needs.
During this last month of summer, my needs will absolutely include as many hours as I can possibly spend in my beloved hammock.
this post is not sponsored, these opinions are my own & I just simply love my hammock!