New Yorkers are crazy. We all know that. But sometimes they’re crazy in a very sane way.
Take real estate, for instance. They pay, on average, about 50 cents on the dollar, or roughly $400 per square foot in even a small apartment/condo, for a bit of outdoor space.
Let me translate that for you: a 1,000-foot, two-bedroom apartment would cost you roughly $80,000 more than the original asking price if it includes a measly 200-foot terrace.
I get that. I really do.
Maybe I’m crazy too.
Green = therapy. Green = sanity. Green = perspective.
Why do people move to Colorado? Because watching a thunderstorm brew over the Rockies reminds you that your problems are Lilliputian when looked at in the grand scheme of things. Listening to your boss, or the PTA president, or your mother-in-law kvetch at you over the phone while in a tiny cubicle in the middle of a concrete jungle? Not so fun. Doing the same with a view of the ocean, the mountains or at least a garden? Still not so fun but definitely more manageable. Studies from institutions like the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo have shown nature walks lower blood pressure—but did you need a study to tell you that? Probably not.
These facts bubble around my brain because it has been a tough couple of weeks, for reasons I won’t go into (aren’t you glad?). And I did not seek out long talks with friends. I did not seek out overly intense workouts. All I could think of was—get me to the woods.
I think this is a remembered habit from my youth. I grew up with a field and forest behind my house. When sad or lonely, I’d head there. Pick wildflowers. Do some creek walking. Stare at the sun on the leaves. And I’d return to the hustle and bustle of our house only when calmer.
This past weekend, I took our black Lab walking in the woods. It was quiet. Serene. Green.
We did not get back into the car until I felt centered again. It took about 45 minutes in all.
No therapist in the world, no matter how good, can do that for you. Just ask all the New Yorkers paying their shrinks $200 per hour—and heading out to the Hamptons every weekend for a little nature walk.