Sunlight, pink, purple, gray, and blue clouds, crisp air, and new running shoes make for a delicious morning. Oh, and complete aloneness. That too. I want to be an extrovert so, so badly, but my natural tendencies still ring true to my introverted nature. I do think I am an introvert with high, high social needs (I used to think I was an extrovert with high, high aloneness needs, not anymore) but an introvert nonetheless, and my preferred method of recharging is to take a long walk, alone. No phone, no kids, no husband, no friends. Just me and maybe the dog. Also true, I absolutely enjoy walking with my kids, with my husband, and with friends…it’s possible that I just like walking. Always have. My parents’ home is nestled amid several large fields with gravel or dirt roads snaking in and out and around the property. Growing up, I walked those paths every day, morning, midday, and evening. My friends and I played in the irrigation ditches, my siblings and I made bike ramps over the drain ditches, and my sheep, dogs, and various stray animals wandered those roads endlessly.
It’s nice to have such simple method of re-charging that has lasted me throughout childhood, adolescence, and now young motherhood. Many times the activities we enjoy as children fade to the backgrounds of our lives and are locked away only in memories, no longer of use to our adult lives. I like having something that reminds me of carefree childhood days and also serves me well as a mother, with very different demands on my time and needs in my heart.
Today’s walk, unlike the clear, tennis-shoe-clad walk from the introduction, was snowy, slushy, wet, and done in full snow-regalia and waterproof boots. I had to make two trips to get my intended number of steps as it was very slow-going this morning, trudging through a foot of freshly fallen snow. It was warmer this afternoon and the cleared roads have a subtle layer of slush, which made the most satisfying sound as I walk down the road again.
I used to be able to take a long, long walk in the morning, before I had children and even when my kids were babies that could ride in strollers. Now that they are older and more opinionated, I find that two or three shorter walks scattered throughout the day, achieves much the same purpose, with far less mutiny from my daughters. And if the mutinous feelings are high any given day (from me or them) I can just leave them home while I walk down the driveway and back.
Looking for those silver linings: babies are sweet and easy to move from place to place as you desire, preschool and older children are far less sweet and far less easy to move anywhere. But they are big enough to manage themselves in the yard, alone, for ten-twenty minutes at a time.