Hollywood is sensory overstimulation… all the time… everywhere. There is constant traffic, constant people, constant bright lights, and information flying at you at rapid speeds. You also need to be diligent and aware of what is happening around you when walking on the strip; I’m sure at one point I’ll be able to filter out the noise and only see what is important, but for now I’m constantly awash in this sea of noise, lights, and information.

I’m also consulting on a large team of extroverts who thrive in a world of constant talking, questions, interactions, facilitation, and passive aggression.

I’m an introvert, which mean constant stimulation drains all my energy and leaves nothing but an empty shell at the end of the day. I’ve been doing this for years so I have strategies in place for the day to day… but need to find space weekly to reflect and build myself back up again.

Knowing this, I’ve had to build a buffer in to pad between the overstimulation and frazzle of Los Angeles and the quiet Canadian weekend family time. This involves hours of quiet outdoor walking with the dogs in the time between LA and CA.

The hike involves the fur babies who are starting to show their age. In the past, little Mr. Stryder would run up and down the path anxiously barking at me to go faster. Now he quietly plods ahead. He might rush through the snow and brush to obsessively look for a snowball to chase or a stick to carry. But, when this happens he usually hurts himself and needs help jumping into the Jeep at the end of the walk. It takes him a few days to recover.

In the past, little Miss Kima was my consistent little machine who plodded quietly along beside me… and frantically chased after animals or birds like a mad beast if she saw them. This is has been replaced by the Kima who slowly makes her was along… panting the entire way, not interested in anything but getting back to the Jeep at the end walk. We go uphill first to make it easier for her to do the second portion of the walk. She still runs after coyotes when she sees them, but realizes at some point that a) it’s too hard to run, and b) she has a nice cozy bed and yummy food at our house… and why would you give that up to hang out with the bad boy coyotes.

It makes me sad that my fur babies are getting older but I suppose this was inevitable.

For me, my buffer time tactic seems to be working. I guard this time protectively because without it I am unable to switch off from weekday chaos. And, when I can switch off for a couple of days, I am refreshed and ready for frazzle on Monday.