“Hey, it’s supposed to be beautiful out this weekend. Care to join us for a hike?”
“I’m in town today! Free for dinner?”
“I have dinner plans in the evening so I can’t go hiking with you guys during the day…because, you know, timing…” …That doesn’t even sound convincing to ME…
“Errr…I would go but…I already made plans with my cats.” No, that’s not an acceptable answer.
“I’ll have to pass, but next time for sure!” There! Vague, but polite. Just make sure not to post pictures from my solo hike on the same day they went hiking and no ‘solo dinner, finally!’ type of posts either…
It’s still a struggle for me sometimes to say no to people I usually love spending time with without feeling guilty. I know it’s a cliche but really…
The things is, I’m known for my need for alone time, my preference for doing things alone, and my love of staying at home in my lion onesie while hanging out with my cats. And yet…I still feel bad for saying no, especially when I intend to do the same activity I’m being invited to. Perhaps with time I will learn not to feel guilty for doing what I need to in order to recharge but for now…vague responses and setting a separate time to hang out it is!
Guilty or not I did end up pretty much not talking to anyone I know that weekend and it was exactly what I needed. First of all, it was an incredibly beautiful weekend due to the unusual occurrence of gorgeous autumn colors coupled with summer weather. Think fall foliage with 70 to 80 degrees F temperature. YES.
Second, with the election going on and people commenting on the election on social media in ways that I feel are not conducive to intellectual and meaningful discussions, my social capacity bucket has been near empty pretty much everyday. Did someone poke a hole in it when I wasn’t looking? Because lately my inner grumpy cat has come out and I’m annoyed with everyone. Well, not everyone per se. Just certain types of people.
This is not like me. I do enjoy being alone and I particularly love going on hikes by myself but spending time with those I consider my good friends usually makes me happy. But, unlike me or not it was clear to me that I needed to clear my head and so I pushed the guilt aside and went hiking. The day before I went to Sugar Hill State Park in Watkins Glen, NY and this time I decided to check out Salt Springs State Park in Montrose, PA. I didn’t realize the food connection until just now lol! I guess I decided to go somewhere sweet since I was feeling salty. Pa dum ching! 😄
Salt Springs State Park is not actually maintained by the state contrary to what the name implies. It is, however maintained. What that means is there are marked trails and maps and everything!
Even though the trails were marked, the path itself wasn’t as well maintained as state maintained parks, which means it looks really pretty with all the leaves on the ground!
It also means you have no idea what you’re possibly stepping on, as I came to find out when something jumped out from under my feet.
I’m very glad I stayed true to myself and went in anti-social mode this weekend because at the end of the weekend I felt more like myself again. Nature tends to have that effect on me. How could it not?
I was happy, my mind was quiet, and I felt excited about life again, even though Monday was fast approaching.
Hiking is my therapy and I am very grateful to live in an area full of beautiful trails.