The Fresh Air Drug


Something happens to your brain when you don’t leave the house. It isn’t a good thing. On the first day you become lazy. The babies are asleep, D arrives home in the evening and asks if I want to go out for a walk. Nah, it’s freezing out, and dark.

The next day the worries start to creep in. Not enough “likes” on a blog post sends you into a tailspin of insecurity. Why are you looking at the Internet when you should be ticking things off the endless to-do list, working toward achieving goals, cleaning the kitchen for the third time that day, washing the bibs for the umpteenth time, preparing to move in two weeks, playing with your babies who smile hopefully every time you look over at them? These four walls are suffocating, and now you have a headache.

You’re just one workout away from a good mood. 

Thank you to D for alerting me to this catchy mantra. I used to run regularly. That went out the window soon into my twin pregnancy. But even short of exercise, just getting fresh air does wonders. In the past, the only reason a day would pass without my having left the house would be if I had the flu. Welcome to my new life with twin babies in a walk-up.

Today, Bean screamed for the entire time it took me to carry everything and everyone up and down the two flights. (She was sitting in a bouncy seat outside my neighbors’ apartment for most of this time–sorry neighbors!) In addition, the stoop was icy, which was nerve-wracking to navigate with screaming baby. But we made it.

A few inches of snow fell yesterday and it was still all over the ground, making pushing the double stroller difficult in parts, but frankly I couldn’t care less because the air was so bright and crisp and I was outside. Here are a few things we saw in the park:

A girl jumping rope in an allée of bare sycamores.

A shimmer of snow drifting out of a tree, through a beam of sun.

A flock of starlings eating seeds off of a honey locust, shaking down little drifts each time one landed (this reminded me of a poem I love by Robert Frost, “Dust of Snow” which you can read here)

Two young boys hugging the trunk of a snow-laden pine tree, trying to shake snow onto themselves.

And then I forgot to be depressed.

Thank you Sunset Park.

15 thoughts on “The Fresh Air Drug

  1. Beautiful post! And the landscape photo is perfect! I totally understand how you felt and how you’re feeling now. Walks are amazing mood-lifters and being close to nature just fills our souls with loads of good energy. The positive vibe that you’ve just sent us through this post is a tangible proof of its magic.

  2. You are right–fresh air is good for the soul. We were cooped up today with snow and will be stuck inside again tomorrow with sub-zero temps, and I am dreading it already. Maybe if the sun comes out we can run in the yard in snow boots and gloves for even a minute or two. Hurry up, spring!!

  3. I can totally relate. I saw a woman pushing a stroller yesterday on the snow covered beach walkway. I was a little jealous as I drove by in my car. But, I did drive with the window down. 😉 Now we are being pummeled with 6-10 inches.

    • Ha. I know, there’s definitely a sense of accomplishment. Driving with the window down though sounds pretty good! And I don’t know what’s happening with the weather here today. Some sort of freezing rain ice storm.

  4. This is so true. Just getting out the house is so important. I remember not being able to drive at the end of my pregnancy and then for 6 weeks after, as i’d had a section. My dad took me to supermarket when the babies were 4 weeks old and I’ll always remember how amazing it was to stroll around freely, admiring all the foods and colourful packaging. It sounds crazy but I had a serious dose of cabin fever!

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