a philosophical walk

Today my area is basking in a break in the weather.  No snow, a brilliant and beautiful sun, and a temperature of 37 f.  The snow is melting, sidewalks drying, and my street, well, as you can see still a bit dicey but with completely dry main roads.  With more doom and gloom being forecast for the rest of the week, I decided I must take advantage and air myself out this afternoon.

Now, normally I take full advantage of my time outside to enjoy watching squirrels and birds, and just to enjoy my environment. (and occasionally make a grocery list in my head).  Today, a long lost memory popped into my head.  It was swirly and unfocused, but after a bit of effort, I managed to reel the moment into view:  

When I was in junior high/middle school, my family moved to Colorado.  The school I attended was huge and new and wonderful.  (I had come from a very narrow place.  The elementary school I had attended was small – in every aspect of that word.  I, and many others, were often bullied.)   One wintery Monday morning, two blonde girls, (sisters, close in age but perhaps twins? still fuzzy…), were in the hallway with the oddest sunburns I’d ever seen.  They saw me looking and gave me that sort of half smile and nod that you give when you pass someone you don’t know. That was surprising because these were Very Popular Girls. ( I asked my friend about the sunburns.  ‘They go skiing almost every weekend.’  Ah.  the white marks were goggles.  got it. ) 

Sure, I had seen These Girls before, but never really thought twice about them.  This time, they stayed in my mind.  Popular yet they acknowledged my existence  – unheard of in my prior experience.  I remember I looked at them hard – not nasty not mean – but just, well baffled.  Why were they The Very Popular Girls?  They were cute enough, had The Look going on, good but not great grades, in short, once dissected, the sisters were a bit average.  But then I got it.  It was just them.  An inner confidence, a strength, a poise, character, that comes from simple, fundamental  self respect.

On my walk today, I remembered those girls.  The dignity they possessed that belied their ages.  Clearly, today I needed a reminder of the lesson I learned all those years ago.  Yes, now is the time to strengthen from the inside out.  And to be grateful.  As for the sisters?  I wonder what happened to them?  I don’t remember their names.  Hmm… the memory is again fading…  Well.  Wherever they are – I wish them well. 

a lovely(ish) day

I awoke to find out it is January 14. I feel like my accustomed sense of time has all but evaporated. Instead of progressing in a sort of one foot in front of the other orderly fashion, I seem to be living in a kind of severely abbreviated Rip Van Wrinkle reality.

Case in point. I took the above the photo two (or was it three? no, definitely two) days ago. My area had a break in frigid temperatures and our warming mid 30s day inspired me to get out for a walk. Just a nice airing out. The sun trying just as hard as it could but it never quite developed into a ‘sunny’ day. Be that as it may, my walk was exhilarating. Brisk air, and long enough to feel cold and then, as muscles (such as they are) stretched and flexed, feeling warmed and fluid. Even had time to chat to a dog or two.

So why the time reference? As I sat to coffee this morning, I picked up my phone, and ‘found’ the above photo. I honestly could not place the when of the thing. In that moment, two days could have been two decades. I shook myself free of that moment and reflected on its implications. I’m sure there are numerous psychological, philosophical, metaphysical, and physical reasonings behind such happenings. Maybe maybe…. As I sat in silent contemplation of the complexities of life and the very nature of time, my mother’s voice piped up (that internal one), ‘why all the fuss? this too shall pass. maybe like kidney stones but it will pass. enjoy your coffee.’. hmmmm She does have a point. and it is really good coffee.

Enjoy your mid January.

The prep’s the thing

There had been rumors of a statewide weather warming trend coming this week. Up into the sixties even. I didn’t quite believe the news.

Like virtually.. well, everywhere, these past couple/few months have been frigid. and snowy. and icy. Although we have been fortunate to escape the despair of Texas, it has still been pretty darn nasty. I’ve spent the vast majority of this winter wrapped in a sweater, a shawl, and on occasion, an afghan whilst sitting on the sofa. While this position makes for a lovely reading space, especially when accompanied with a glass of wine, it does not make for a lovely step onto the bathroom scale. That moment when you hop off then on again thinking, ‘I could not possibly….I mean….OhComeOn’. The time to act is clearly now. Actually, the acting time was anywhere from six weeks to three months ago, but now is not the time to split hairs.

The morning brought sunshine and coffee. I frowned at the sparkle beyond my window. The leafless shrubs rattled. ‘Aha’, thought I. I’ve been tricked before by bright welcoming sun, only to be blasted by a frigid wind. I seized my iPad. Local temperature – 51f. huh. I decided: Today I would resume my walk/run program. Actually, I had barely gotten into the ‘run’ part of the program before the weather had made it impossible to continue. I had hit the point where I would stride – with purpose- for a bit then jog, sort of, for a bit. Past at least two or three houses.

I started my preparations for A New Exercise Program. I pulled out my thickest sweatpants. Exercise bra, long sleeve breathable cotton t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt (in case of sudden frigid wind gusts), super terrific walking sneakers, find and recharge Fitbit, and then a light yet sustaining breakfast (technically brunch at this point). Breakfast was a large bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, and a teaspoon and a half of peanut butter for extra protein. Bathroom, coat and out the door.

Done and done! I had Restarted an Exercise Program! So what if I had only walked for twenty minutes? And I think maybe I pulled something…. I was breathing hard – -which could be because of the slight pain in my thigh, the layers of clothing or the result of Exercise. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, a pat on the back for me!

Thank you for reading and stay safe!