Monthly Archives: February 2015
Motivation – continued motivation once the luster is gone – is difficult to maintain. It doesn’t really matter how much we know that something is good for us. Unless it feels good, we might just forget to keep it at the top of our list. Taking care of ourselves is already difficult for women. We have so many other things that we place ahead of our own wellbeing. Kids, husband, job, scouts, ballet, cleaning, cooking, laundry. The list seems to be never-ending. At least at my house that’s how it goes.
I learned some years ago when my kids were teens to place myself high on the list. With a house full of teens, a part time job, homeschooling two kids, a huge house and yard to maintain, and all the other things that need a place on a To-Do List could get me down. Only when I determined a few realities was I able to get myself a starring spot on the list. If I don’t respect myself and make time for myself, no one else would – certainly not a mess of teens.
Then, I discovered another reality. So far in my life, no matter how tense or sad life has become (and, we’ve all had those moments – or months), if I really thought about it, I could come up with something to be grateful for. Recently I heard a guy speak about being grateful for the electric bill he couldn’t pay. Why? Because he had heat provided by the power company AND if he had to provide that heat himself – go out, find wood, chop wood, bring wood home, light a fire, tend to a fire – he’d not have time to do another thing! Hmmm. I get it!
I recently ran into one of my 7 ‘bonus kids’. These are 7 boys who have lived with me for at least 3 months (and sometimes for almost 3 years) who I consider my bonus kids. The circumstances bringing them to me were all over the map. But, in all cases, I was able to provide a safe, stable home environment for them while they did their job of growing up. This particular kid lived with me for over a year when he was about 15. He’s now almost 30. It was a delight to see him. I hear about these kids from my own kids all the time, but I don’t actually get to see the bonus’ very often. They really are all over the map as adults! He reminded me of how grateful he had a place to live when his mom had to leave town for schooling when he was so young. I was reminded of how grateful I was that my kids had such good friends and how fortunate I was to have a big house, several sets of bunk beds, and a life that allowed me the luxury of bonus kids. When I had my last (biological) child 29 years ago, I thought I was done having kids. The Universe called me to have 7 more! How lucky am I?
So, think about what you’re grateful for. Make a list. Make a list every day. List 5 things you are grateful for THAT DAY. Every day will bring you a new list of things for which you’re grateful. Here’s my list for today:
1. my son’s phone call to me
2. the mail man who brought my mail to the door
3. the mall that was open for walking
4. finding a old postcard from my SIL
5. the yummy leftovers my DH and I shared.
So, you may well ask, what does a gratitude list have to do with motivation? What could be more motivating than a conscious understanding of the good things in my life? I can walk. I have two legs that work. It makes me feel good and sleep better.
So, when you lack motivation, pick up a pen and paper and jot down a few things you’re grateful for. An attitude adjustment becomes hard to avoid. Move on!
These aren’t ‘regular’ walking sticks. I have not used them or seen them in person, but they look very interesting. Somewhere, lost in my house, I own two high end walking sticks that were prototypes sent to me by my son’s former roommate who designed them for some company he works for. I have not used them much because of the upper body strength/endurance they require. And, I have been too lazy or disinterested or hmm, let me think up a good excuse, to work on upper body enough to make use of walking sticks. There are certainly times on certain trails where I could use the stability that a walking stick can offer.
But, back to these sticks. They have some sort of spring in them, hence the name BungyPump. They look like they’d be a lot of fun – and that they’d encourage me to work on my upper body. The price is not even steep if you’ve ever shopped for walking sticks. I wish I could see them in action before I put out the cash, but that’s unlikely unless they really take off in popularity.
In the meantime, I should probably find the two walking sticks hiding in my house. They’ve been hiding since I moved in late 2004, early 2005. It wasn’t a normal move. In the middle of said move, we went to India for a month. So, a very disjointed move with an intervening earthquake and tsunami for comic relief while we were in India and moving my mom out of the house I now live in and stuffing 11 rooms worth of household goods into 7 rooms of house – well, you get the picture. Not only am I not well organized in general, I live in the midst of what could pass for a furniture store. So, the cylinder holding those two walking sticks is hidden behind a box or door somewhere. I’d probably build up my endurance greatly if I just spent 10 minutes a day looking for those darn walking sticks…..
I’ve had a difficult few days. Nothing major. Just a cluster of those annoying days in one’s life when all you want to do is:
* someone make it go away
* hide under the covers
* stomp my foot and yell!
None of those options is a good choice for me! Know what I mean? No, the annoying stuff doesn’t just disappear. Hiding under the covers gets boring. Stomping my foot and yelling never ends well………never…..
My solution is to hit the bricks. Um. I mean, walk. It has been bitterly cold here with snow and ice, so no one buy my dog actually wants to walk outside. I think this weather is what God created malls for. So, I’ve taken my annoyances to the mall and left them in all the trash bins along the way.
Really. Name it, think about it, mentally roll it up and throw it in the trash bin. It really does help. You can even use the trash cans at home. Walk in place in front of the TV or while gazing out at the inclement weather, reach into your mind and find those nasty bits, mentally draw or write them on some mental paper, then crumble that paper and throw it away – or burn it – or do whatever you need to do to get rid of it. Magically, when you rid yourself of the mental piece of paper, you nelp yourself get rid of the problem.
I prefer burning. If they’d let me do that at the mall, I’d take my own matches.
I’ve been writing about walking since 2008. I have a bunch of articles that have gotten positive feedback, especially for information and encouragement. Here are links to some of the best of those articles:
Are you worth it?
What if it hurts?
More will follow. Please feel free to wander around the old blog as there are well over 400 articles at the old site – studies to support my walking theories, references to articles published elsewhere in support of walking, information about shoes and socks, etc. Lots of stuff over the past five years. Please go look!
If you’re new to my blog about walking the neighborhood and the Twelve Steps, welcome! If you’ve been a reader of my previous walking blog, you’ll want to know that from now on, I’ll be writing about walking on this blog. You can read the many articles I’ve written previously on the subject at the previous site. I’ll migrate some of those articles here, but there will still be valuable content on the old site. Those will be the Old Archives. The articles written here will be archived here. So, enough of the business already! On to walking.
That picture up top is from November, but it could have been taken many days since. That was taken by my walking buddy Kris one day when we were in Castlewood Park. Castlewood is about a 10 minute drive from my home. And, as you can clearly see, we don’t wait for balmy, Spring weather to hit the trails. We are devoted, dedicated walkers. The most devoted and dedicated is my beloved Lizzie, my four-legged walking partner. Lizzie would rather walk than eat. No kidding.
So, with Kris and my other walking partners, I am on the trail or at the mall or in the neighborhood, hoofing it, seven days a week – sometimes twice a day on Saturday or Sunday. Why, you may well ask, am I so devoted to this simple form of exercise? Almost twenty years ago, I had to give up my passion, racquetball. My knees were shot and I was in constant pain. I needed knee replacements but I was a bit young for those. So, I took a page from the book of my mom (now still walking at age 92) and my friend Sally and began walking every day. My four-legged walking partner in those days was my sweet Jasmine, a 25 lb. cockerpoo who would rather walk than eat. Do you sense a theme?
My first goal was to be able to walk to my local grocery store, about a mile from home. That was a stretch at the time. But, before long, I was capable of easily walking to and from the store and most any other place I wanted. In the process, I lost 65 lbs and survived the teenage years of my three kids. When they started squabbling, I hit the trail. No more listening to all that teenage angst, anger, and wreaking of havoc! And, they survived too!
So, I turned a corner in my life, walking the neighborhood and then walking through the Twelve Steps of Al-Anon as an Adult Child. Refer to my 100% Guarantee below if you want to know how valuable that second part is. I discovered the simple pleasures of doing the most basic of physical activities for which our bodies were beautifully designed AND I learned to enjoy the journey of making my way through the Twelve Steps toward clarity and spirituality.
This is not a blog about spirituality. It’s not about weight loss or dieting. It’s not a blog about exercise. It’s just about walking. Along the trail, I will refer to some of these other things, but they are not my focus. My focus is on finding a way (for me) to maintain a level of activity that keeps me feeling good and moving forward. I hope that, along the path, you’ll find some motivation herein to increase your own activity level and feelings of wellness. It does not take long, once you begin to walk, to see and feel the rewards. They are cumulative and powerful. Powerful in the simple way that something as basic as walking 15-20 minutes a day, beginning maybe with only 5 minutes a day and increasing slowly, results in such feelings of calmness, inner strength, clarity, and yes, even spirituality (for me). More on that another time.
I’ll be sharing information about walking trails in and around St. Louis, Missour, USA, tips on good shoes and socks, other basic activities that enhance my sense of wellness, and the rewards I have discovered. I hope you will share yours too!
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you’ll get back 100% of your former life – your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It’s from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.