The Thanksgiving holiday gave me the opportunity to have a nice, slow start to my week on Monday.
I took Khalee for a walk and, even though it was windy, I took time to tune into my surroundings, noticing how the leaves have changed (or fallen), how the river noises are quieter, and how everything smells a little different right now.
When I came home, I took down the load of clothes I had hung earlier. (It was a fine day on clothes, as the saying goes.) This task can be pretty mundane (or even boring) but today it was routine in a good way – repetitive actions with positive results.
As I turned with my basket of clean clothes, I noticed how inviting my swing looked and I remembered how much I enjoyed meditating while sitting there cross-legged the other day.
So I decided to meditate there again today.
And that brings me to 51 days of meditation in a row.
When I opened the Insight Timer app today, it offered this very appropriate quote for how I felt at the end of my meditative afternoon:
Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.
– NOAM SHPANCER, PHD
I liked how, today, I have ‘driven’ myself calm instead of driving myself around the proverbial bend.
Wishing you all ease for the week ahead. Please try not to cram 5 days of work into a 4 day week. 💚⭐️
I think I am developing a new Sunday habit – a walking chat.
Or maybe a chatting walk?
Either way, I’m having a great time catching up with friends while we walk along various trails in my community (and near by.)
In the Before Times, I probably would have just waited until we could swing a time to sit down together in someone’s house or a cafe and we’d catch up on each other’s lives while we snacked and drank tea.
I’m still strongly pro-snack (and pro-tea) but here in the During Times I don’t find it as relaxing to be in cafes or even in other people’s homes. I’ve met a few people for tea – sometimes on patios and sometimes inside – but I’ve also missed seeing a lot of people who I would normally catch up with in person every few months.
Recently, my friend Elaine wanted to bounce a few ideas off of me and I was about to suggest that we meet on Zoom on Sunday morning when I impulsively suggested that we meet for a walk instead.
As I was starting out on my ideas walk with Elaine that Sunday, my cousin Sheri, who I haven’t seen in ages, texted me about walking with her later that day. I jumped at the chance for two walks and two chats and I really had a relaxing, connected-feeling Sunday as a result.
This past week, my friend Sandy and I realized that we had gone too long without a chat and decided that this Sunday, we would take our conversation on the road. (Ok, so it was actually a path but it had the same effect.)
We did an hour’s walk and crammed in about 3 hours of conversation. I suspect that anyone overhearing us thought we were on fast- forward 😉
And, once again, my Sunday found me feeling relaxed and connected.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to cozy into a chair with my hands wrapped around a cup of tea and have in-depth conversation but right now those conversations aren’t as relaxing as they once were. I get distracted by the ambient anxiety of living in our Covid-world.
And Zoom chats are good but they can’t fully replace being in someone’s comforting and invigorating presence.
Walking to catch up is the perfect solution for me. I get to have a bit more movement in my day, I get to actually SEE my friends and, we get to have the sort of wandering and satisfying conversations you can really only have in-person.
I’m definitely making plans to do this regularly and catch up with everyone I have been missing.
But my Ontario friends? It was all anticipatory dread. Fall we all agreed is a perfectly lovely season. I love fall riding. See why I think fall riding is perfect for beginners. The colours are perfect. It’s not too hot. People are fit but mostly no one is training for any big races.
I think what people are afraid of is what’s to come after fall: months of snow and cold. I’m trying not to think about it too much.
It’s especially tough for me. After a couple of sabbaticals in Australia and New Zealand I’ve got lots of cycling friends in the southern hemisphere. For them, it’s the start of spring and the beginning of the serious racing and training season. My Facebook newsfeed is full of posts and announcements about spring riding. I’m jealous!
The only thing I don’t miss about riding in Australia are the swooping magpies.