Walk for longer
I don't walk......
So apparently we have had to walk this week to places and take ten times longer to reach our destination; walking slowly and taking time to breathe.
The only problem is what do you do when you hardly walk anywhere? Now, to be fair my intention is always to walk as much as I can. There are opportunities during the week when I walk but I don’t walk every day. Sometimes I can go for days without having walked anywhere that will allow me to take my time.
Luckily, I have introduced the gym into my life recently to try and combat the fact that I do not walk anywhere. I work quite far from home so drive everyday; particularly as my daughter comes to work with me. The thought of taking my eight year- old daughter on the central line every day during rush hour fills me with dread. At the weekends I use the car to ferry children around to different clubs, which are so far apart that walking is not an option.
So there you have it. I don’t walk.
Therefore I decided to try and make sure I was so organised that week that I could leave home early enough to drive in a leisurely fashion. If you know me well you will know that I am always driving somewhere in a hurry. I never leave myself enough time. I always underestimate how much time I will need to be ready by a certain time; often running out of time, rushing like mad and arriving late (the only thing I am never late for is work). I often feel really stressed by the time I arrive at the destination because I have been cursing every other driver on the road, feeling that all of the red lights in the land are against me and sweating on arrival to the usual chorus of: “Late again.”
So I spent the week trying to be so uber- organised that I could arrive in plenty of time everywhere I went. It took a lot of effort to behave in a way different to my usual habit. I never aim to be late as I know how rude it is. But when you are sleep deprived (as I am, along with my husband) you give yourself as much time as possible to sleep in the morning. Too much time.
This week has been an absolute revelation for me though. I have really taken the time to observe and be present when driving. Just take my time. Driving really is an action you can do on auto- pilot so it was important to take in as much of my surroundings as I possibly could. I saw rose bushes in Hackney, I saw the sun rising over the HSBC tower in Canary wharf, I saw a little girl dancing for her daddy at the bus stop. Nothing remarkable. But things that made me take comfort in the small things. Those things that make your environment lovely, remind you of the act of human kindness and help you to feel present.
I realised that I felt differently when I took my time. Gone were the palpitations, the sweating and the raised heart- rate. I began to enjoy my journeys. I think it’s worth letting you know I love driving. I love the freedom it gives me. Doing this only allowed me to enjoy it even more. I was arriving to my destinations calm, in control and in a pleasant mood.
This week was a definite positive for me.