Saturday, July 23, 2011

Neglecting Me

I kept my sanity this winter by going on morning walks. No matter how cold it got, I would bundle up and walk around the neighborhood. It felt good to be up and about before most everyone else, and to watch the first rays of sun touch the rooftops. The serenity outside brought serenity to my soul. During the cold days I would dream of how luxurious it would be to go for morning walks in the summer. It was novel to think that I wouldn't have to spend 10 minutes putting on extra layers and all the winter essentials.

This spring in the name of work I gave up those morning walks. Not intentionally, it just sort of happened. To beat traffic I had to leave the house at 6:45 - it was hard to get up any earlier than I was already getting up, so I just figured I'd go for a walk in the afternoon (by the way, the afternoon walks rarely ended up happening). Sometimes my excuse was that I could be earning money working, so I'd better just hurry and get to work. Some days I had emails to catch up in the AM before work, and other days I just hit snooze too many times.

Somehow or other, I fell out of the routine.

I've been noticing myself getting crabbier and crabbier. I haven't been taking care of me. I have not been great about eating healthy, I have reduced my sleep by about 1-1.5 hours a night, and stopped exercising. Hmmmm. Now that I see this in black and white, it's ever-more obvious that I have a problem.

Sometimes the easiest person to put last is me. There is always laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, emails to be written, and money to be earned. It's easy to push off the "little" things in life - like morning walks. However, those little things make a HUGE impact on the rest of my day.

Today I was fed up with how things were going. I couldn't remember the last time I took one of my treasured morning walks. I threw aside any thoughts of what I should be doing, and put on my tennis shoes.

The stress melted away faster than a popsicle on hot pavement. I noticed the crisp blue sky and the peach clouds drifting by. I saw all of my neighbors' flower gardens in full bloom. I was moving my body and drinking in the morning with my eyes. Oh, it was glorious.

That walk was my reset button. Any stress I was feeling was quickly forgotten and I was back on my familiar route. Numerous times I thought to myself, "Why have I been putting this off?" This is what life is about.

So, I hope with all hope that I will be able to pick up my morning walking routine again. My days are so much better when they start out with a quiet walk.

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