When it comes to being a creature of good habit, I often do a very poor job of it. I can never tell myself things and take myself very seriously because I always know that it’s just me saying it. It took me years to learn to get out of bed on time so that I would not be chronically late. Every day I told myself the same old lie — I’ll just stay here in bed a few more minutes — and every day I fell back to sleep until well past the time that I needed to get up in order to start my daily routine in a “timely” manner.
Finally I discovered one of those modern conveniences that I always ignore until they are very old news. It was the programmable coffee maker that finally made the difference for me. Not only was I motivated by the delicious aroma and availability of a fresh pot of coffee, but I wasn’t too crazy about having that pot of coffee just sitting there cooking away while I slept. So if you want to say that the only thing that was ever able to get me out of bed in the morning was the nagging realization that there was an appliance with a heating element burning away in another part of the house, that’s fine with me. The only thing that matters to me is that something finally worked.
As a result of this innovation, I suddenly found myself in possession of something that I knew little about — time…to…do…things…in…the…morning. I now have a stack of filled up journals and completed paintings thanks to that time. But the thing that has meant the most to me is the morning walk.
My life has changed so much that now I can go for a walk before I’ve even had the coffee. In fact, the coffee maker is now set to start at about the time I return from my walk. It’s the walk that wakes me up in the morning. I know that no matter what I feel like when I wake up, I’ll feel better after the walk. No matter what kind of seemingly miserable failure the rest of the day turns into, I have that one accomplishment under my belt — and because of the walk, the day will have a tendency to turn out better anyway.
It’s usually still dark when I head out and it’s cool and quiet but not solitary. There are other walkers, joggers and people walking dogs. I don’t always leave at exactly the same time or follow the same route and this adds variety of place, time and characters to the encounters. It’s the best way I have ever found to start my day and it contributes greatly to both physical and mental health.
I’ve always felt that it wasn’t necessary to go anywhere far off to gain inspiration. I fully understand that it is not that way for everyone. For me, if I can’t find it in my own backyard or around my neighborhood than it’s probably not anywhere else. Even better, if I can find it in my own backyard then I will find it everywhere. My morning walk is something that I don’t ever like to miss.
Thanks for the daily prompt!