Every week, I do my best to make time for things that I need to do. I have a tendency to be a procrastinator, so scheduling time to deal with life makes sure things get done. Monday tends to be the best day to do these things, because I am almost guaranteed to have the entire afternoon free.
Of course, there are the usual things – fixing things around the house, running the Swiffer around, and cutting the grass. One of these tasks that isn’t negotiable is walking. As I get older, the more I realize that exercise is what is keeping me alive. It also helps me from putting on the extra pounds I don’t need, so since the pandemic, I have been almost religious about walking as much as I can. And it has worked. I feel so much better, and at one point I had lost around 40 pounds from my peak during the lockdown.
Unfortunately, winter isn’t my friend when it comes to this effort. Cold weather, lots of rain and other less-than-ideal weather make it harder to spend time outdoors. The holidays bring lots of distractions, and unfortunately, lots of tasty food, which makes it even harder to focus on what is needed.
But it isn’t the holidays causing this. I know it’s my mind making excuses. I start finding reasons to do other things, even when there isn’t really anything else to do. They call this inertia. The scientific definition of “inertia” is that an object in motion stays in motion; an object at rest stays at rest, unless some outside force acts upon it to change its state from one to the other. My behavior isn’t quite that scientific, but it certainly is what I would call inertia. I get moving, and once I establish the habit, I tend to keep moving. If something (usually in my mind) pries me out of that pattern, I find myself taking breaks, which makes it easier to take more breaks.
I’m sure we’re all wired that way. Some people are better at staying focused than I am, but ultimately, it’s my responsibility.
So today was Monday, and I had a perfect opportunity to get a good long walk in. Except it was raining. And kind of cold. Just a yucky kind of day. Meanwhile, there were little “honey-do” things eating at my brain, so guess where my mind went? Instead of putting my walking shoes on and walking, I started piddling with the bathroom sink to make it stop (barely) dripping, and to clear the cold water line so the water doesn’t trickle slowly out of the faucet – a persistent problem since we moved in more than 8 years ago.
Was it wrong to fix the sink? Of course not. It was needed. But did I need to walk? Absolutely. After the holidays, I’m feeling less energetic, which begets more laziness, and my body is yelling at me for not doing something about it. I can feel that I’ve put a few of those evil pounds back on since Thanksgiving. And it hurts – mentally, and sometimes physically.
So what is the lesson? Do what you need to do, even if it isn’t convenient. Make time for the important things in your life, which prevents them from being unfinished business. There’s only so much time in a day, but there is also time for the not-so-important things, if you try. It’s like a sophisicated balancing act, but it can be done, especially if we are spending less time in our head debating, and more time actually doing!
I had plenty of time to mess with the sink and go out and walk. Yes it was raining a little. There’s nothing in the rule book that says my feet aren’t supposed to work when it’s not a sunny day! But it didn’t happen, and now I feel like I’ve let myself down. Of course, I’ll survive this, and I will do better. I looked at Tuesday’s forecast: More rain. I’m going to walk anyway. And so it is!