It's something I don't talk about here on the blog very much because it doesn't really jive with our farm lifestyle. Whether it's a leisurely run or a 5K race, running literally takes me off the farm.
But, it occurred to me recently that running has a whole heckuva lot in common with one of my favorite activities here on the farm: milking.
Now, I'm not talking about a speed training run. I'm mostly talking about longer, slower runs. These are the ones when I don't care what my pace is -- only that I cover the distance. Sometimes I listen to worshipful music during these runs; other times, I just enjoy the sounds of the nature around me and the steady rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement. But, always, my mind wanders and then sometimes, amazingly, clears.
Milking provides me a similar experience. I commune with nature's creatures, and it's quiet but for the rhythm of the streams of milk hitting the bottom of the pail. My hands are tied up, so I can do little else but think, so my mind wanders and then clears.
I spend more time in a day milking than I do running, but not by much. Both activities are therapy to me. They get me outdoors. (I'm working on a theory that we were created to be outdoors -- more on this later;) They force me to slow down and breathe and think because I can do little else while I'm doing these things.
Running and milking are both sanity savers for me.
What's your favorite sanity-saving activity? Does it have some things in common with mine?