Friday, March 18, 2011
I have recently walked home from work. Once last Friday, once last night. It is 6.2 miles from the office to the house. This brought back memories of walking home from school. Remember when you were a kid? This applies to us over-50's mainly!
1. The family had one car. Dad took it to work, unless Mom needed it for something special, in which case he took the bus.
2. There were no school buses in our town, except for field trips. You got there by walking, and only got a ride if somebody's mom had the car for the day... even then only if it was really cold or wet outside!
3. We lived anywhere from six blocks to two miles from a given school, depending on whether we're talking elementary (six blocks), Junior High (mile and a half), or High School (2 miles).
4. We got where we needed to go by walking!
5. Our moms really believed that kids should play outside whenever possible.
Did we think about fitness or consciously exercise? Not unless you were going out for an athletic team. BUT... our lives made us fit! We were clocking two miles a day even in elementary school, because we walked home for lunch. In high school, until the driving kicked in... it was four miles a day.
Several thoughts occurred to me as I walked last night (besides enjoying my MP3 tunes)...
As a kid, the walk to and from school was just a chore. As I got older I started to appreciate more what I was walking past. First, I was walking past people's homes. Some have lovely gardens or plants, which give delight as the seasons change. The pride the owners have in their little places of refuge shows. I first started noticing this in my high school years.
This week, I chose to walk through some residential neighborhoods and across some parks as well as making use of our town's extensive hiker/biker trails. This is a great town for walking. I noticed that pride in ownership in the neighborhoods. I noticed kids out riding bikes or playing in yards. I noticed I was not alone in using human powered means of transportation... some people regularly bike to work.
My walk may be a little longer than others. It may take quite a bit of time, which I don't have every day. An hour and a half to walk home isn't practical for most people, but there are a lot of commuters in this country who have a drive nearly that long! When I walk, I am living in the now. I am seeing real life. I am a part of my community.
And it doesn't get a whole lot better than that.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Yesterday on one of my break walks from work I passed a group of kids, playing on the capitol lawn. Some were running down the gentle slope, just for the joy of the moving. One little girl was rolling down it, "log" style. She was grinning with sheer joy. I smiled and continued my walk with a lift in my spirit.
After work, I left the house in the warm late afternoon sunshine and hiked around a nearby park. Part of my walk was across the top of an earthen dam that forms a small lake. On that dam top the wind is at its strongest, and it was a breezy day, for sure. Any joking comments about "if you lose any more, you'll blow away" took on a near-literal meaning and I almost giggled thinking of them... except I was leaning into the wind to stay on the ground!
There is something so invigorating about facing the wind. And it occurred to me: this is why!
I keep moving so I can have moments like these. Here's to the moments of now!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Yes, the title says it - the battle of "why"!
I guess that's it: why maintenance can be so difficult. It is sometimes a struggle to even remember WHY I'm doing this. When self-pity, fear and anxiety creep in... when comparison to others and the competition factor blind sides me... and when I want to give more to other areas of my life and think I can steal it from taking care of the business of self-nurture... I am at risk of losing sight of why it's important.
So, let's review: WHY is it important to ME?
1. Because if I want to give more to those other areas of my life... I'd better be healthy enough to do so. Taking care of my health is not taking away from the rest of life's activities, it is supporting everything I do. "Put on your own oxygen mask first, THEN help others."
2. Nursing hurt feelings over comments made by others is not going to make them go away. Eating to mask them only lets me be in denial about the feelings, it doesn't heal the feelings. Work on real healing. That starts with honesty to myself. Forgiveness and communication follow.
3. Let's talk about performance anxiety, because that is an element in this most recent lapse. I had this lofty performance goal for the half marathon, not set by me, but I bought into it. It looks at this point in training like it won't be in my reach. I have to admit I'm afraid of letting someone else down. That's really what it is.
Be proud of being able to go the distance, let's not talk about speed... and let's not throw road blocks in the way of doing my best by self-sabotage!
This is who I am now. I am not that hide-in-a-cave slouch-on-the-couch person. I am strong. I am capable.
WHY? Because I can. Because I must. Because it is a part of me.
Monday, March 14, 2011
I had a bad weekend with food. I had been holding it together pretty well for a while... but it really was a sheer effort of will. Time change, injury, change in routine, and cleaning on top of it all. You know I'm stressing when I start cleaning and organizing.
I believe that partly the news stories coming out of Japan triggered the stress cleaning. Not that it isn't "that time of year", too... but seeing that level of destruction, the stray thought occurred: what if something like that happened here? How would I feel about what would be exposed if someone had to come into my home following a disaster?
It started me thinking, this cleaning and organizing effort: it's not that different from my eating patterns. I binge eat. Less often than I used to. Granted, or rather self-justified. But... looking at how I'm going through this archeological dig of the piles of papers... I binge clean, too.
As I was going through this process yesterday, I recalled how when I last cleaned my desk at work, I felt at loose ends without my comforting piles of papers denoting projects in process. And I started to get anxious about how I would feel when my house was truly "in order". Would I feel lost? Without identity?
I have been working on affirmations related to household order for a while: "I am a person of dignity, I deserve to live in an orderly home." I visited FlyLady and polished my sink several months ago. But that initial effort has frayed around the edges. Maybe even in the middle, too.
Is this similar to the reaction "fear of success" related to weight loss? The "what do you do with it now that you've got it?" I think for me, it partly is. As with the weight and recognizing that there are going to be days that I will need to recover from... so with the orderliness - I need to learn to cut myself a break and find balance.
The journey to "as good as it gets" continues!
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