Go Sit In A Park For A While

You seem a little stressed out. I’m talking to you, specifically, the person reading this sentence right now on your phone or, God forbid, an actual computer that is plugged into something. Hello. I’m Brian. Maybe your name is Brian, too. (It’s a good name.) Maybe your name is Greg or Zack or Lisa or Denise. Maybe your name is Zelda Fantastic. It probably isn’t, I suppose, but it could be. There is really very little stopping you from changing your name to Zelda Fantastic if you want to. Or, like, Lonnie Orlando. You could be Lonnie Orlando. That’s something to consider. And when you’re done considering that, here’s another thing to consider, regarding the stress: Maybe you should go sit in a park for a while.

Like, now. Maybe you should go sit in a park right now. My employers and I would prefer if you read to the bottom of this page or at least scroll there before you leave, but I can’t really go about getting upset at you for listening to me right away, now can I? The rest of this is just going to be The Case For Sitting In A Park For A While anyway. If you’re already convinced, stop here. STOP. I can’t run the risk of unconvincing you. I’ll feel terrible.

One thing, though, if I still have you: Bring a beverage to the park. Most beverages will do. Water is fine. Some people like lemonade. I enjoy drinking iced tea in a park. Iced tea is a good park drink. Sometimes I’ll do a peach iced tea. Sometimes I’ll mix up my iced tea with some lemonade, which is called an Arnold Palmer. It’s kind of funny that Arnold Palmer was one of the best golfers in history — a cool one, too, who just kind of whacked the ball as hard as he could and then went and found it and figured out how to beat you from wherever he ended up — and his greatest contribution to society at large might be mixing some delightful beverages in the same glass to make a new, also delightful beverage. There’s a good lesson here: If you play your cards right in life, you could end up with a refreshing beverage named after you. That’s nice to think about sometimes.

Are you in a park yet? No? Okay, I’ll keep going. Maybe it would help to consider some activities you can do in a park. You can throw a frisbee with a friend, if you want. You could text “hey do you wanna go throw a frisbee in a park or something?” to one of your friends right now. I bet you have a friend who would say yes. (You can always say “lol jk” if they say no, like you were doing it as a bit. It’s good to have escape hatches like this at various points in your plans.) You could jog, or walk, or bring a dog and throw the frisbee to the dog. You could also just bring a blanket and a book and, like, sit there. Or look at your phone if you want, although it kind of defeats the purpose a little. But looking at your phone outside in a park on a sunny day is probably better than looking at it in inside your house. Baby steps are fine. We can build from there.

I like to listen to music in a park, usually with a book in my lap that I am reading between extended stretches of being distracted by things that are happening around me. You can pop in your headphones and listen to any music you want. I recommend music that has good vibes, if you really want to maximize the experience, but it’s your call. Maybe an example will help. Hmm. How about Stevie Wonder? Stevie Wonder makes some primo Sitting In The Park music. Like, imagine it’s a sunny 78-degree day, little breeze, handful of wispy clouds in an otherwise blue sky, maybe some ducks in a pond or little kids running around playing tag, and this song comes on in your headphones.

That’s a day-maker right there, friend.

You know what else you can do in a park? People-watch. People-watching is fun as long as you are not creepy about it. (Do not be creepy in the park!) Just casually look up from your book or conversation or picnic and take a quick glance at some of the other people in the park. I wouldn’t do it if you’re throwing a frisbee, though. You don’t want to become The Guy Who Got Hit In The Face With A Frisbee At The Park. That’s not ideal. But otherwise, go nuts. People are fascinating. Some of the things they wear and do, man. Wowsers.

Occasionally, while you are people-watching, the people you are watching will make eye contact with you. This is okay! You can give a little smile and a half a wave and go back to whatever you were pretending to do before the little moment happened. Sometimes they’ll smile and give a half-wave back. This is nice. It feels good to connect with people, even just a little. You can even try some small talk, too, if you’re feeling it. Maybe a cursory “how’s it going?” or a “what a day” or even a “your dog is so cool,” if they have a dog. People love to hear that their dog is cool. But only say that if they do have a dog. Otherwise, you will look like a creep, which you should not do. We have already discussed this.

Another thing you can do in a park is daydream. You can sit right there in the middle of the park and daydream all you want. Think of all the times you can’t do this, or at least when you’re not supposed to. Daydreaming too much at work will get you in trouble, especially if you are a bus driver or heart surgeon or any other kind of surgeon, really. But no one gets mad at you for daydreaming in a park. Leave that book open in front of you if you feel self-conscious about staring into space, but let your mind wander. Think about anything you want. Here, I’ll give you a few topics to get you started, in addition to the Arnold Palmer thing from earlier:

  • Birds can just, like, fly, any time they want, and it is super easy for them
  • Every person who has ever competed in the luge at the Olympics had to wake up one day at some point in their lives and say “I think I will try the luge today”
  • Vin Diesel’s real name is Mark Sinclair but, per Wikipedia, he changed it “while working as a bouncer at the New York nightclub Tunnel, wanting a tougher sounding name for his occupation”

I included this last one in part because it is my favorite thing to think about ever and in part because I feel like you didn’t believe me back in the first paragraph when I said you could change your name to Zelda Fantastic if you wanted. I mean, the man changed his name to “Vin Diesel.” Everyone just calls him that now like it’s a normal thing to call a person. At some point in his life, someone he knew called him Mark and he looked them dead in the eye and said, “Actually, I go by Vin Diesel now.” That’s incredible. It’s borderline inspirational. You are only limited in life by the furthest boundaries of your own imagination.

Okay, I think that’s enough. It’s probably time for me to go home anyway. I wrote all of this while sitting in a park myself just now. So I guess you can add Write A Blog About Sitting In A Park to the list of things you can do while sitting in a park. And you should, probably, if the inspiration strikes you. It would be nice to have more blogs about sitting in a park. I would happily read one park blog every day. Let’s all work on that for the rest of the summer.