In keeping with my new resolve to not procrastinate or idle away the time on Mondays, I’ve been thinking about more than just my writing goals. In all the busyness of launching a career as a novelist, it occurred to me that while I might be doing a good job in meeting my career goals, I’m way lacking in my personal goals.
Last fall I had been doing great. I was walking a mile every day. I was eating healthy, being conscious of everything I put in my mouth (with an occasional slip; I’m honest if I’m nothing else) and making a point of getting to bed early. You’ve heard the saying “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Benjamin Franklin wouldn’t know anything about today’s technology, but he knew what he was talking about there. And of course Ben didn’t have to deal with menopause and middle aged spread. And the writer’s lifestyle certainly doesn’t help matters.
So….today was walking Wednesday. I strapped on my poor neglected ankle weights. I grabbed my hand weights, threw my cell phone in my pocket, and off I went. My goal was to walk the mile I used to walk. I also wanted to find a new route as my old route is plagued with dogs who bark in a not so welcome way as well as throw their bodies against a fence that I’m willing to bet may one day give way. I headed down a particular road in my neighborhood that is probably a straight mile long. It leads to the main road and I jumped right onto the sidewalk and just kept going, feeling pretty good and pretty proud. I did it! I didn’t put my walk off. I didn’t let my ‘to do’ list distract me. I was moving. And being this is a pretty busy area there was plenty to look at so by no means was it a boring walk. In fact, walking out in the open with no lap top, no cell phone (I kept it in my pocket) and no other distraction meant I really looked at my surroundings.
Because it was so early in the morning, just a little after seven, I spotted squirrels busily running across lawns. Two beautiful blue jays sipped from a puddle. Thinking of my daughter and how she always finds great shots of nature, I reached in my pocket for my cell phone to take a picture. Yep. You guessed it. By the time I fumbled around with my phone, they had taken flight. But I got to watch that too. That’s when I realized that I’ve been so busy working that I couldn’t remember the last time I did that. Just watched the birds and the squirrels. When was the last time I just stood still and took in all the beauty around me?
After walking for a little over a half hour, I will admit that I was happy to get home and sit down. It’s been some time and I probably should have started out smaller and worked up to that half hour walk. So, yes, my legs are aching. And I needed a little recovery time and a whole lot of water before I could climb the long flight of stairs to the shower. But I met a personal goal that’s been sitting on the back burner for way too long. And like my writing goals, you can’t rest on your laurels or blow a day off for whatever reason. Tomorrow I’ll have to do it all again. And walking Wednesday turns into Thursday and then Friday and I’ll just keep going. Because like the routine I started to beat my Monday lazies, if I want to see results in my fitness and health I’ve got to keep on walking.
What routine have you started to meet your own personal goals?