Friday morning, I took my usual walking route in Golden Gate Park around Stow Lake, and there was a great deal of #nature happening. I was particularly impressed by the minimum twenty-five (possibly more) sunbathing turtles I saw every ten feet or so around the edge of the lake:
It was an unusually sunny morning, and these turtles were OWNING life. They just sat on or next to each other, motionless, and soaked up the sun, completely oblivious to the crowds of tourists snapping pictures of them. They were basically a posse of Victoria’s Secret models on a beach vacation with Leo DiCaprio, but less narcissistic and more sober. There were also flowers and a fountain in the park, and it was overall just a gorgeous day.
Then came Sunday, which was Bay to Breakers. B2B is San Francisco’s annual footrace/drunken walking orgy. It is like Halloween on crack, and when I went to the local market to buy cucumbers (I ran out, and I really like them, OKAY?), there were so many people on the streets in varying degrees of undress and intoxication and body-painted-ness that I started having a major panic attack and barely managed to stumble home, shaking, in time to take a xanax. I passed out, and when I woke up several hours later, I immediately thought back to last Friday and those turtles, and how calm and zen they made me feel. Those turtles have life DOWN, you know? I mean, the sun comes out, and they just swim over to the nearest available log or stone and chill out with their buddies. Why can’t I be like that? Well, I guess I don’t live in a man-made lake in a protective shell, and, like, I am a sentient life form who requires income to survive, but you get what I mean. Why can’t I just take a page from their leathery, slow-moving book of turtle-y life and chill out once in a while?
Anxiety, alas, does not that work that way. We all need some degree of anxiety to survive–even the turtles must experience something akin to a fear response when a turtle predator, like…a lion (???) approaches–but for those of us whose anxiety is triggered more easily by a variety of factors, it can be a huge liability.
I’m lucky, though–my anxiety is mostly manageable with therapy, drugs, sleep, drugs, exercise, and the support of family and friends…and drugs. I know many of you fight the good fight with these and all the other tools you can muster, and I salute you. I wish for you and for myself that, in the midst of all the nuttiness that daily life throws at us, every once and a while we get to be these sunbathing turtles, posing for tourists on a log, our reptilian faces turned craned up towards the sky. Happy Monday, Turtles!
Please leave your thoughts in the comments, especially if you are a turtle, because your perspective would really be appreciated here and also it would be pretty cool if you guys learned how to use the internet. 🐢