Looking for Reprieve

Every single one of us is different. We all lead different lives and experience a wide variety of different things. But despite our differences, there is one thing we all share in common: the ability to stress and lose sight of the things we enjoy. It’s easy to look forward to things like the weekend and vacations. These are times when we get to leave our stresses behind us, if only for a little while. Those times are our own, and they provide a wonderful reprieve from some of the daily stressors. But vacations don’t come around as often as we’d like and weekends always melt away. Living in this constant routine of dreading the typical weekday can slowly drain us. This is why it is so imperative that we find things to look forward, little reprieves in the everyday life.

I decided to address this topic because I have struggled with this one for a long time. From the moment I wake up, I’m tempted to feel either a sense of excitement or a sense of absolute dread. I’d been of this mindset for years, but I really began to think about it a couple of years ago. My family and I were enjoying a nice reprieve in the form of a summer vacation. We spent two days in New York City, before moving on to another destination. I had diligently planned this trip and I knew exactly what I wanted to see. One of my top sights was Central Park. When I finally set foot in the park, I experienced something very interesting. As I walked farther into the park, the noise from the city slowly drifted away. As much as I enjoyed the city, the clatter of the concrete jungle sharply contrasted with the soft tranquility of the park.

I realized that the park is the city’s reprieve from itself. But this reprieve isn’t distanced from the city, it’s located in the middle of it all. This made me think about how I can find little reprieves in my everyday life. While a break from everyday life can be beneficial, I don’t have to distance myself from my daily routine in order to find reprieve. For the past couple of years, I have been trying to make myself slow down from time to time, so that I can stop and enjoy my surroundings. My college campus has a plethora of beautiful spots to stop and take a moment. For me, I find reprieve in a beautiful landscape or a clever design. By doing this, I’ve found that reprieve serves as more than a short break. It provides me with the opportunity to reflect. I’ve even used that time to cope with my stress or develop a game plan for handling stressful situations. I’ve by no means mastered this concept, but when I take time to slow down for a little while each day, I find myself dreading the everyday a whole lot less.

Life is stressful and fast-paced. If we always run headlong from one thing to the next, it’s easy to feel like our lives are running us into the ground. But if we can carve out some time for a small reprieve, we can improve our happiness and mental clarity, and possibly enjoy our lives a little more.

This post was written in response to the Daily Post’s prompt, Reprieve.


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Kristen Twardowski

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