Firestarter Friday: happy places

The dam behind my Grandparent's house, calm and quiet. Except for mooing.

Last night I was waffling a bit about what today’s Firestarter post would be. Well, thank you to a couple of different factors, a night of relaxed typing quickly turned into a total mess. So one idea ended up making more sense than any others. So if you had a rough week and need to clear your mind for some time, go to your happy place.

I know it’s an overused phrase: “go to your happy place” sounds kind of hokey. But it’s doesn’t just have to be something you joke about after yet another meeting you wanted to sleep through. Taking a few minutes to think about a favorite place you’ve been can do a lot to calm you down and get you in a better mindset for whatever you want to get done.

Personally, I have a few happy places. A few spots in Montana and Minnesota are always favorites that I wander back to in my head. There is also one particular library in Chicago that stole my heart. I really would’ve gotten married there if it wasn’t so darn far away. We can visit some of those later, but today I’ll share a bit about my Grandparents ranch.

The more you visit Daydream House and read, the more you will find I am much more a country person than a city one. The ranch probably had a bit to do with that. It’s the spot of land in South Dakota where my dad grew up, so naturally, we went there a fair amount when I was growing up. It’s one of the few places on the planet where I actually want to get up early instead of pull the covers over my head. I got to spend time playing outside, petting bucket calves and getting eggs from the hens. It was pretty much a perfect vacation every time. I got all the romance of ranch life without any of the actual real, hard work most people don’t think about.

Since we were nearby for the party anyway, of course we stopped in Deadwood, another good happy place.

For our one-year anniversary, my husband and I went to a big family gathering at the ranch. My grandparent’s 50th anniversary was two days after ours, so it was a pretty big deal all around. E got to see the ranch for the first time and I got to relax and snap a few photos. Now those are a regular part of my “happy place” mental file.

Where ever your happy place is, find a way to surround yourself with reminders of it. Maybe you need a picture hanging by your desk at work (I know I do). Put one on your fridge or in your bag. If there is a song or some item tied to that place, make sure it’s not tucked away. Good experiences are meant to be re-lived. Make sure that when you are feeling stressed or like you are lacking creative juice, take a few minutes to mentally be somewhere else. It can be a really good way to unblock and get creative.

So get out there, have a great weekend and make something sweet!

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