Thursday, February 6, 2014


There are good habits and bad habits. Some of my habits make me feel better, and some of my habits I need to quit. One habit I have developed since retiring is writing. Gratitude is another habit I have continued to develop. My latest habit has picked up some momentum, and that is walking.

Every morning I spend at least thirty minutes writing on my MacBook. I hope I keep this little ritual for the rest of my life. I look forward to waking up in the morning so I can start writing. It helps me feel productive and creative, process feelings, and know myself better.

Just after the New Year, but not as a New Year's Resolution, per se, I began walking. Every single day, no matter the weather, I bundled up, and headed up the canyon. What a wonderful activity to enjoy each day. It energizes me, it lightens my mood, and hopefully, it will lighten the load of my body for walks up the canyon in the future.

One thing that helps me focus on gratitude is my photography. I keep my cell phone nearby for quick snapshots, and my camera is at the ready, to grab at a moment's notice so I can capture the simple beauty I observe each day living in such a beautiful place in the world.  Each day, I take pictures of the things for which I'm most grateful. My account on is a photographic journal that brings back sweet memories for me each time I visit the website. 

Last fall I entered a photography contest, and just recently found out three of my photos were featured in the Andy's Market calendar. The Richfield Reaper contacted me a few days ago to ask me about my pictures, and I was so surprised when my mom sent me a message saying that two of my photos had been printed in color in the paper this week, and they'd given me credit for my pictures. I had submitted several photographs to a local contest, and three of my pictures were selected to be printed in the 13 month calendar.   
I had taken all three pictures from our deck in to the east, one to the west, and one was a closeup of a couple of deer in the backyard.

When I wrecked my knee on the ski slopes last weekend, I was out of sorts all day Monday. My knee was wrapped in a brace, and I was icing it often. I kept it elevated on the couch or the recliner, staring out of the big picture window at the beautiful Tushar Mountains. Every time I forgot about the injury and moved my leg slightly sideways, the sharp pain that ran through my knee brought me back to reality. My mood soured, as I contemplated how I would have to adjust my calorie intake since I didn't have an hour's worth of cardio to offset my food choices. A cloud of gloom followed me all day long. I managed to do some modified exercises, keeping my left leg straight. Sit ups, bicep curls, planks, push ups...I only lasted fifteen minutes. It was a start, and I immediately felt better because I was no longer playing the part of the victim.

Once I started dealing with my day on my terms, I felt immediately better. Pity parties happen, but they don't need to last long to satisfy whatever silly need they're meeting. It's normal to feel frustration when there are setbacks. Perhaps that down time allows us to explore our options, and determine how we're going to get through them. I could've chosen to just continue with my foul mood, but I was tiring of that by nightfall.  

After my short workout session doing floor work and weights, I determined to make a plan for the next day. I would walk, no matter what, no matter how short of a distance. I knew for my own sanity I had to get outdoors.

The next morning, I could tell from the absence of visible stars, we were in for some weather. As the darkness gave way to a slight glow behind the low-lying clouds, the snowflakes became visible. A steady snowfall had begun in earnest, and I felt energized. After I'd published my blog entry for the day, and had some breakfast, I braced my knee, and pulled the hood of my windbreaker over my head.

Destination Number One (Picture taken during an earlier autumn that was published in the Andy's Market calendar)
My plan was to walk to both of my neighbors' houses on either side of us, to deliver the calendar that had my pictures in it. My landscapes featured my neighbors' cabins, and I just wanted to share the calendars with them since their homes were being featured.
Destination Two (another photograph published in the calendar)
With the calendars protected from the snow in plastic grocery sacks, I set out in the snow. My limping gait must have looked like that of a peg-legged pirate; I was only missing a parrot on my shoulder. It was slow-going, and all three of us have long driveways. It took me thirty minutes to go just over a mile down our three lanes and back.  I couldn't worry about my pace; I had to focus on foot placement, and staying upright.

The neighbors' Blue Heelers, my nemeses, must have been uncomfortable with my hobbling walk, and the noisy plastic bags that were being blown about in the breeze. They barked extra hard and long, charging out into the road. I stood my ground.

There was a time that would have set me on edge, but time has eased my fear of cow dogs since being attacked by one about ten years ago. I have a chunk missing from my left calf to show for the incident, which healed much faster than the emotional scars. I had never been afraid of dogs before, and I was determined to overcome it. I have nearly succeeded.  Dang dogs.

As the sun comes up, the horizon is glowing pink and grey this morning. I've nearly done my writing, and I know I will get my walk in, however slow. These are habits I hope to last a lifetime.The days that I am actively involved with my words, and spending time outside, are the best days for me. My spirits are lighter, my energy higher, and my outlook positive.  

This calendar pic was taken in my backyard.

1 comment:

Thank you so much for stopping by Randomocity. Like most writers, I enjoy interacting with the wonderful people who read what I have to say, so please, if you would like to leave a "blogment," I would love to hear from you!