It's often said that one way to relieve stress and get re-centered, other than the perfect and primary solution of running, is to visit places that you're familiar with.
When I was younger, and still lived at home during law school, I would sometimes take a walk by myself on a Sunday afternoon and venture up to the old high school track. There was nobody around, as the building was closed, but I would just walk around the area and soak up the memories. That was where I had those annoying classes, that was where I asked that girl out in that geeky, unsure, nice-guy way I had. And THAT, over there, was the auditorium. That was where I acted in all those drama club plays, and was happy. In fact, that was where I was the happiest -- nothing could shake me, nothing could faze me, and nothing could bring me down back then!
Since then, I've moved a far distance from my home town, but I sometimes visit. And when I do, it's good to visit some of the old stomping grounds. Just being near some of those old sites brings back old, comfortable feelings. Yes, I may have traveled and advanced pretty far from there, but there's always been a refreshing feeling from re-visiting those places. In a way, it's like visiting a sanctuary or a shrine -- from the old familiar feelings of the past, there can be a spiritual replenishment and a restoration of happiness.
Of course, this was before I discovered the secret of running. Nowadays, it provides me with this sanctuary on a regular basis. However, visiting the old neighborhood can sometimes provide that feeling on an even larger and more personal scale.
Next stop? This summer I'd like to take a road trip to visit my old college town. Anyone going up to Oswego for the reunion?