I never thought I would be the type of girl who liked the woods...

As a little girl growing up, my parents had boats. My entire young life we were always on the lake. It was my favorite place to be.

My husband and I decided that starting with a trailer would be more practical with the kids, the dogs, and the fact that all of our friends had trailers.

I still love the lake but the woods are my zen. I recently went to California and spent 4 days at the beach. I don’t know if my head wasn’t right or what, but the sound of the ocean did not give me peace. In fact, I felt it racing a little bit. Weird I know. I realized that the peace that comes over me in the quietness of the woods is magical. One of my “happy places”.

I find solace in the woods. I can think or not think all while appreciating God's creation.

My family recently lost both of our beloved dogs within 8 days of each other. My husband and I decided to grieve at our favorite camping spot. We came back with a sense of comfort and were better prepared to begin the process of moving on.

We have definitely had our trips planned for pure fun or special occasions. But the woods have become a place of relaxation, rejuvenation, stress release, and a motivator.

Motivator? Well yes! When I have a big project ahead of me, I prepare and then I stress. I get nervous and think about it non stop. To the point of those bad dreams where you wake up thinking you missed it or screwed it up really bad.

So instead of pacing before a big project, I will relax and mentally prepare in my safe haven of the woods. Clear my mind and allow myself to relax rather than stress out.

In any industry, we go through stressful times. Find the one thing that gives you a sense of calmness and peace. To have some nerves is always a good thing. It helps you work harder and smarter. But to be physically stressed can hinder your mind and alter your performance. So give yourself a break. Whatever that may be.

For me, it will be soaking up nice weather, good tunes, peaceful moments admiring this wonderful country we live in, and maybe a few beers...