I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day, and the question came up of “feeling lost”. I think this is pretty universal, but I also think everyone experiences it a little differently. I know that for me, most of the time I feel purposeful and positive… but sometimes I wake up suddenly riddled with anxiety over the question “What am I doing? Why am I doing it – and is it what I’m supposed to be doing?” Not to mention the added anxiety over projects that are staring me in the face, and which I am at a loss to know how to move forward with.
What, you might be asking, does this have to do with the Skagit Valley?
Well, the last time this happened to me a couple of weeks ago, I decided to do something different instead of just launching into my day as usual. I decided instead of burying it or trying to plow through it with sheer determination, I was going to make a hard left and leave the office entirely.
I donned my trail shoes, jumped in my car, grabbed a mocha at Penguin Coffee in Anacortes (my fav coffee in town), and headed for one of the many gorgeous trails in the area. I’m telling you, it’s my favorite way to start the day. Check out the Community Forest Lands for biking and walking trails. The great thing was while walking through the trees, lakes, and ferns, listening to the birds and frogs, I solved one of the problems with the project I’ve been working on. Sometimes you just need some silence and space.
After my walk, I headed to the local Farmer’s Market, which runs on Saturdays at The Depot in Anacortes. The Anacortes Farmers Market is a great market to take kids to….as is the one in Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. There is live music, sidewalk chalk, places to sit and eat, and it’s generally easy to keep an eye on them. I grabbed a healthy juice concoction from Drink Your Veggies’ stand, stocked up on veggies, honey, kvass, and an adorable hat, and after dropping them off at home steered toward the Valley proper.
If you haven’t made the pilgrimage to Snow Goose Farms, you must. First of all, they have fun signs in either direction announcing what’s up at the stand, and it is absolutely customary to get one of their fabulous ice cream cones from local creameries. If you’re into homemade condiments, fresh, exotic mushrooms, and the best smoked salmon, you gotta stop.
My friends know I’m a freak for oysters, and I am so lucky to live in an area where we have access to some of the best. Head up Chuckanut Drive to Taylor Shellfish Farm and feast on the freshest oysters and shrimp outside in the salty air by the bay. The bonus is the epic drive along Chuckanut, cut into the mountain with the drop down to the sea to the west.
After filling up the proverbial tank, I decided to take some out of town friends up on their offer to join them in La Conner for a little shopping and dinner. They had all flown in from around the USA for a girlfriends vacation, and landed at a fabulous Airbnb with a view across the valley and a cool … bocce ball court. This is a great town to unwind in. If you haven’t take some time to cruise around La Conner, do yourself a solid and take advantage of the offerings… some of my favs are Made in LaConner (don’t judge…it’s not what you expect!), Palindabala Lavender, and Step Outside. If you decide to stay for dinner, check out Nell Thorn for farm-to-table goodness, or if you want some excellent Polish fare, Anelia’s Kitchen (who also has live music on certain nights).
As I drove home, I had such a sense of fullness and gratefulness for where I live. It is truly rich beyond compare…especially when you consider that this is not even the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t feel lost anymore. I felt like I was exactly where I should be, and by taking some time to focus on the richness of my environment and the relationships important to me, I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my projects with a new sense of enthusiasm, and with some new ideas. Sometimes taking “time off” is more like refilling the tank so you can drive another 1000 miles. Essential.