“Did the entire building just shake back and forth?”
The woman on the other end of the phone line speaks to me with emphatic calmness, “Yes, we just had a little earthquake, but everything is fine.”
Alaska keeps your ego in check. Up here, you never forget that Mother Nature has the upper hand.
Still, I’ve had a hard time slowing down into her natural beauty.
As I made my way from the Texas Gulf Coast to the Arctic Ocean, every evening was occupied with my planning for the next drive.
I defended that practice, and, to a point, still do. I wanted to get to the Arctic, not take a leisurely tour of North America as I journeyed upward.
But, when I arrive at Prince William Sound and my mind immediately starts clicking with, “Okay, where will I go after this?” I realize I am out of control.
Because of some unexpected good news (which arrived moments before our mini-earthquake), David had to leave Alaska earlier than expected.
I’ve just dropped him off at the airport and am at Prince William Sound alone. It is raining and cold and I am in my Mini, waiting for a clear day to tour.
Surrounded by giant mountains on every side of my RV, each with countless waterfalls rushing down from snow capped peaks, I have my head buried in my computer, frustrated by a poor Internet signal.
It is a bad spiral. I get agitated, I go online. I go online, I get more agitated. As I get increasingly uncomfortable, I start to recognize that it is my compulsive interaction with my phone and Internet that is worsening my mood.
This has been a process. As I’ve removed compulsive behaviors, piece by piece (shopping, drinking, television, etc), I become more aware of that constant background brain-agitation that is constantly scanning my environment for some distraction.
It feels like the more I remove from my life, the louder it gets. I don’t think I’ve ever been more aware of my almost constant attempt to engage in some distracting activity.
The realization actually feels pretty good. There is something strangely cathartic about having to contend with it head on.
I close my computer. I turn off my phone. I make some tea. I open all the windows.
I watch the waterfalls and listen to the cacophony of noises that race up, and down, and around in my brain.
It’s a start. And I feel very, very good about my progress.
The sun finally came out and I got to take a cruise of Prince William Sound. Teeming with life is an understatement! I saw salmon jumping like crazy, eagles flying, and caught these guys on camera.
p.s. I literally have not opened my laptop in over ten days.
It has been good for my mental health,
but bad for my blog!