It was a year ago today that I set out to walk every day and blog about it. I did give a full disclosure, somewhere way back at the beginning, admitting that I was far from perfect. That hasn’t changed. The writing about it every day wasn’t possible. I’m an Indie author, writing books and marketing them, and all that entails in the new world of e-books and self-publishing. I’m also still a bookkeeper, working two to four days a week. And I have that other little thing called a life, a complicated, messy, sometimes much too busy life.
As for the walking, I probably missed about twenty four days over the course of a year. That’s an average of two days a month, some months better than others. There were brutally hot days in the summer, days that were just too hectic and too busy, and days in transit, traveling to visit my daughters or my family. In the beginning I ‘fessed up to skipping the day’s walk. On other days, I took two walks which I counted as canceling out the previous day’s missed walk. But in the end, I decided that wasn’t what the year of walking was all about. This wasn’t a NECAP test at school. No Walk Left Behind. It was a learning experience, an experiment in slowing down and observing the world around me, developing a life long habit that I am now compelled to do, not because I have to but because I want to.
There were funerals, weddings, and births over the past year. A typical year, the cycle of life. A reminder that it all goes by so quickly and we need to slow down and savor the moments. But it really wasn’t all that typical either, because I set off on a new adventure and I don’t think I have arrived at my destination yet. But I am well on my way.
“Freedom lies in being bold,” Robert Frost once said.
My good friend, Steve, who was married to my cousin Kathy, is selling his house and getting ready to embark on a new adventure of his own, moving to Utah. It can be a bit scary, leaving your job, your friends, your family. Changing your whole world. But it can also give you a new lease on life, a whole new perspective. It’s an opportunity to learn new things, see new places and challenge yourself. Life doesn’t always go according to plan. It’s good to be flexible and open to new ideas, go with the flow. None of this is over, this thing we call life, until it’s really over. Each day is a gift and it is up to us to use that gift wisely.
For everyone who follows me on my walks and my blog, thank you. In the coming year, I will still be blogging and sometimes my blogs will be about walking because walking has become a habit. One I enjoy. You never really know a place until you get out there and explore it on foot.
My year of walking was done on one big learning curve. Two years ago, I had never written a blog, much less a novel. Now I am almost finished with the first draft of my third book. I’m also a regular blogger and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. My writing has improved but as always, in everything we do, there is still room for improvement. I am a work in progress.
One of the biggest challenges in the year ahead is to use my time more wisely. Of all the things I do in a day, from Tweeting to paying somebody else’s bills so I can pay my bills, to writing a blog, to posting on Facebook, to writing a novel, I need to figure out what is going to get me to the place I want to be. Which is writing full time, for a living. But there is also this thing called today. This day and every day. Because the answers aren’t always at the end of the road, they are in each step you take along the path you are walking.
I’ve spent the last few days walking with my oldest daughter who is in Florida visiting for a few days. We’ve walked the beach, the Wakadahatchee Bird Sanctuary, and the Lantana Nature Preserve. Today is Mother’s Day, the last day of my year of walking, and we are all headed to Fort Lauderdale to watch her run a road race. I wish her sister was here to join us for brunch after the race but she will be here at the end of the month and we too will share a walk.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. Enjoy your day.