I do not believe in making New Year Resolutions. This has been the case all my life. It’s not that I do not value the power of starting with renewed zest or hesitate from taking up challenges that could change the course of my life. Instead, I have believe that if I have to start something new, I must begin today and not wait for a (perceived) auspicious occasion to do so.
Year 2016 found me writing more openly about battling depression and reading aplenty to arm myself with enough know-how to fight depression with all my might. In this battle, though I had regular exercise on my side, I was practicing meditation only in bits and pieces. Adding deliberate gratitude to this cocktail helped change my perception of life but something was still amiss.
My real issue had been working from home. Doing it all at home (including workout) meant I was confining my mind, my being, to the four walls. This confinement wasn’t letting me break-free in ways I yearned to. Though I often step out of home to run errands, go shopping for grocery and leisure but those outings weren’t being kind to my stressed mind.
The final straw in my desperation to calm my system down to attain permanency in my new-found peace with my child came with the understanding that if I add a change of scene for myself on a regular basis I’ll be able break-free from the clutches of monotony. I’ll be free from the vicious circle of thinking the same thoughts day in and day out.
This thought struck me on a Sunday night and the following Monday saw me do something I had not done in quite sometime.
Go outside for a brisk, long walk.
Day one felt energizing. I wanted to test waters without tiring myself unnecessarily from the start and that’s what I did. Morning walks have been a part of my life from childhood but never before have I felt this strong an urge to embrace them for the sake of my well-being, like I did this time.
The New Year was still a good month away, but I did not want to put off my sanity or rather the possibility of feeling good in my own skin, 4 weeks away. The master procrastinator in me didn’t hesitate in presenting a stack of excuses to not stretch my body to another hour of discomfort.To this added the fact that I didn’t have the luxury to hit the road real early with the morning duties of getting the kid ready for school and preparing breakfast.
Morning walk with the sun glaring high up in the sky on a busy road with bustling traffic didn’t paint an appealing picture for me. But, my goal was different. I just wanted a change of scene. I just wanted to step out of home, on foot.
I wanted to quieten my buzzing mind or to lose the voices in my head in the drumming of my heart in my ears. I wanted to push my mind to soak in the life beyond me, to become the go-getter I was, not very long ago.
It’s been 4 weeks since and I am happy to report, I am beginning to feel the change in my emotional well-being. The hour I spent training my leg muscles to walk faster everyday, has helped train my emotional muscle. My mind shuts off the conversations from my daily life the minute I put on my sports shoes. I have come to look at deadlines as non-scary because stress is slowly beginning to look conquerable.
I no longer feel like a robot running through the set routine at a pre-determined pace. I am re-learning to notice life. Moving at its own pace, unaware of the turmoils clouding my mind. Inspiring me to loosen up. Asking me to let go.
I now have a new habit, or rather a revamped old habit that makes me enjoy the familiarity of the faces I meet daily as they race to reach their workplaces. The forever changing traffic scene always leaves a smile on my face because I can see inspiration pay me a visit in ways we’ve never met before.
But there is a stretch of a kilometer or two where I struggle, feel the pain and wish to take a shortcut back home. But I resist. I keep uttering to myself, “Keep going, keep going.” Instead of trying to escape the strain I try to reassure myself that pushing through is courage and it is for my good.
I am aware that it is too early to comment on my progress. I am yet to strike a balance between my weight training and morning walk schedule, but I’m loving the new-found grasp on my life. The many insightful scenes crossing my path in the precious moments I spare for myself every morning, make me feel alive and awesome.
The song on my mind: Chalte Chalte ~ Chalte Chalte (1976)