Never did get the hang of Thursdays

Feel the love?

(iPhone photo #40 in my 2012 365+1 project)

I’m sure there will come a day in the not too distant future when I will have to work a little harder to come up with a photo of the day. I quit trying to do the photo challenges and decided just to go with found photo-worthy moments for this year. I’ve taken up attempting to murder my feet with walking as a hobby this year, so I have to cut back some on my other activities. Snapping a phone shot of whatever I see is definitely quicker than using the real camera and setting up something to shoot. Even so, there are bound to be days when I will have no choice but to set something up. The moments will not come to me every time. Today was not yet that day. Some thoughtful students left this rock message on my normal walking track today just so that I would have to think up something to take a picture of, or so it felt like to me. I do appreciate it. I can feel the love.

Otherwise, this Thursday, like most of them seem to be, was a real bear. I always feel like Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on Thursdays. Arthur so famously says that he “never got the hang of Thursdays,” and I know just what he means. If I got to vote on the matter, I’d vote that Thursdays count as Fridays because no one should be expected to show up at the office for one more day after surviving a Thursday. Of course, if I got to vote, I’d also vote that Tuesdays count as Mondays, but this sort of work week is call the part-time job you get after your retire from your real job and suddenly realize your life savings never quite saved up to expectations.

Anyway, it was a Thursday, and I made it through. There are only about four more of them before spring break. I can do this. I think I can. I think I can.

Soar if you dare

Day 38:  Soar if you dare

(iPhone photo #38 in my 2012 365+1 project)

Perhaps I should say soar at your own peril. I keep trying to soar, but I more often just crash into stuff.

I have nothing but blisters to report today. Yesterday I walked four miles after walking six miles the day before. I noticed a blister on my foot last night. Today I tried to walk, but I only made it to three miles, and I hobbled home with a bad blister on my foot. Things don’t look great for resolutions tomorrow. My friend told me today that you can’t wear Walmart socks when you’re running toward a fancy dream. I think I’ll take that to heart. Next time you hear about me walking miles and miles before I rest, you’ll know I’ve got myself some new mall socks and possibly a Toy Story Band-Aid on my poor blistered foot.

The Best Trail

Day 37: The best trail is the one in front of you

(iPhone photo #37 in my 2012 365+1 project)

I always think it’s not worth doing if it’s not worth overdoing. When I decided I wanted to get in shape, I couldn’t just start exercising more. I had to have an extraordinary goal. For me, extraordinary is the idea that I could get myself into shape to hike the Appalachian Trail. And not just two or three miles to look at scenery and say I did it. I want to do a real hike that involves 20 miles or more per day for several days in a row. Or at least more than two miles a day.

I’ve discovered in my efforts to build up some small measure of endurance, though, that there are plenty of challenges right around me.

I wanted to walk a 22 mile stretch of the Longleaf Trace Rails to Trails park by walking from Hattiesburg to Sumrall and back. I’m a long way from that kind of trip, but I did do six miles yesterday. Today I walked only four miles (four miles more than I was walking in any given week two months ago), but I did seek out a place to walk that is safe and near my office and a little more interesting than going in circles on a short track.

Opportunities to make your own adventure are are all around. I should have learned this by now. My young nephews have been trying their best to teach me. I think they would be disappointed that I saw no signs of Big Foot on my walk today. We’ve been on the lookout for him for months, but he’s an elusive sort. They would be proud, though, that I set out to see what I could of the world from right where I found myself. The best trail is the one in front of you. There’s a lot to be said for this philosophy.

May we run and not be weary

May we run and not be weary

(iPhone photo #36 in my 2012 365+1 project)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
~Isaiah 40:31

This was the scripture at UBC this morning, and I decided to take it literally. I was hoping for the walking and not fainting part at the very least.

I’ve been so tired for so long — tired and anxious and overwhelmed. Lately, I’ve been trying to concentrate on physical fitness in hopes that this will help me feel less anxious and less tired. I’ve never been able to run in my life, but I sure would like to. I want to keep up with the happy people.

I set a goal of building up to walking six miles a day, but I had not yet made it that far even a single time since I started this at the New Year. Today I decided I would just do it. I went to the Longleaf Trace and walked three miles down the trail, thus forcing myself to complete six miles because there was no other way back to the car.

I was equal parts determined and uncertain. I wasn’t sure I could do either one — run and not be weary, walk and not faint. I was even feeling a little foolish for putting myself in this situation.

But then I saw this.

The way of the cross leads home...on the Longleaf Trace

A natural cross, covered in jasmine and truly beautiful. It lifted my spirits. It made me feel like I might be on the right path after all.

And then I met these guys.

Personal Trainers

These two dogs were just hanging out on the trail, following various people. They decided they liked me, and they walked with me for a couple of miles before they saw a squirrel and ran off. They kept me going.

I didn’t do very much running, and I won’t say I didn’t get tired, but I did walk six miles without passing out. I actually felt pretty good by the end.

Maybe I’m on the right path after all.

All in a Day’s Avoidance

Day 35: Too soon in bloom...poor blueberries

(iPhone photo #35 in my 2012 365+1 project)

I’m a little worried about the blueberries blooming in February. I’m afraid they’ve been fooled into believing we aren’t going to have winter this year. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we have already shifted into spring, but that’s another kind of scary altogether.

Poor little berry bushes. I do so sympathize. I feel out of sync with the world as well.

I started to say that I haven’t accomplished anything today, but that’s not exactly true. I just haven’t accomplished what I meant to accomplish.

This is what I have done.

I walked three miles. I did some laundry. I went to the grocery store. I cooked some things that I put into containers to take for my lunch this week. I ran some updates on my computer. I read parts of about four different books. I took the iPhone photo above for my photo a day project. I gathered up some stuff to take to recycling.

What I have not done would make a much larger list, but I did do the normal Saturday things that have to be done every week. I also worked toward my fitness goals by exercising and cooking healthy food ahead of time so as to prevent eating junk from a machine.

The long list of people expecting more from me will just have to wait. I’ve done all I can for now. I’m going to devote the rest of the evening to perhaps my most important resolution of all — avoid stress.


Morning has broken

(iPhone photo #34 in my 2012 365+1 project)

I showed up everywhere I was supposed to be today, and I didn’t run screaming from any room I was supposed to be in. For a Friday at the end of a long week, we’ll call that a success. I didn’t do a single thing toward accomplishing a resolution, but I didn’t watch Gone With the Wind a dozen times as a child without knowing how to think about that tomorrow.

Everything has a price

Day 33:  Tulip Trees in Bloom

(iPhone photo #33 in my 2012 365+1 project)

I spotted this tulip tree on my walk today. They are in full bloom now and quite beautiful.

I’m doing better this week with the walking — at least I will be doing better if I manage to keep it up for the next few days. It’s my current theory, though, that for every aspect of your life you work to improve, you are leaving another aspect of your life behind to crash and burn. This is how I feel right now. I can make if better over here if I let it all fall apart over there. This is probably why no one should make resolutions. You’re better off with a balanced life of moderate to mild failure in all directions than with grand success in a place or two and serious failure everywhere else.

This won’t stop me from forging ahead, of course. I’m as committed now as I ever will be.