Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Biggest Battle Yet

This morning Determined Laura had to pull Grumpy Laura out onto the streets of Great Barrington by her hair.

It’s just walking so I don’t understand the logic behind my resistance. All I know is that when I’m fuzzy with sleep and still in my pjs, the world out there feels like it’s on the other side of an obstacle course (a psychological one in this case). Those who have no trouble exercising and getting themselves going, those who jump out of bed ready to face the day, may roll their eyes at this.

But I’m guessing if this were easy for most people, everyone, on a whole, would be much healthier and happier than they are.

In my case, DL had to grab GL and drag her out there. Which she did. And we walked.

God I was in a horrible mood. I had a headache, felt stressed about work, about the seemingly brief battery life on my new expensive phone (really, this is a main worry? Time for me to roll my own eyes at my own self…), about getting “everything” done (what the “everything” is I have no idea).

And my mood and stress stayed thus for about 60% of the walk. But then the thing that always happens--at some point--happened. I was walking along the sidewalk, gaze down of course, and noticed this tiny white flower poking up from some weeds. I didn’t stop or linger, but a small surge of delight followed.

Grumpy Laura was like “Seriously? A flower… What’s happened to you?” Then as I looped back over to Castle Hill Rd to start my return descent, I walked by this house I love: Three stories. Pale yellow. Light blue shutters. No one’s ever there. No cars. No signs of life.

There’s something about this house that makes me feel calm. I was trying to figure out what it was when it hit me--it’s the huge old tree that sits in the front yard and hangs over the whole scene. I think it’s a maple tree--but I’m not good with trees, and don’t know if maples can get this big.

The rest of my walk, all I noticed was just how huge the trees are in this neighborhood. Reveling in this, I realized it had happened. That this big beautiful tree was unarguably bigger than my bad mood.

I felt calm. I felt better. I felt good. I didn’t feel suddenly relieved, but it was as if thinking about other things, good things (big, old, beautiful trees), for long enough for my brain to loosen its grip from work stress, from worries about my ridiculous phone, from “everything,” and deliver that relaxation effect that Gretchen Rubin reminded me of in The Happiness Project.

Mission accomplished.

I do wonder, as a side note, if my intense resistance is exactly for this purpose. I mean, if I started my morning walk feeling awesome, ready to enjoy the wondrous neighborhood behind the old train station, and the walk ended badly, like with a headache, I’d be hard pressed to do it all over again the next day.

This way, I’m encouraged. Inspired. And I hope, if you're reading this, you will be too.

1 comment:

Rosina said...

I swear that I have these vague memories of a time when I used to wake up in the morning and feel rested, like, "okay, I'm done sleeping now". That just doesn't happen to me anymore! I totally relate to your walking battles, and victories...we are all so related. Love you!