When I retired earlier this year I had plans for a grand and productive summer. My ‘to do’ list was impressive, to say the least. I also had high hopes that this would be my year for resolving major personal issues – health, family, finances.
Summer is coming to a close and my ‘to do’ list is more of a ‘didn’t get done’ list. My issues are still there – health, family, finances. My life is not perfect.
But… here is the thing. I have been having a great summer. After decades of stress and anxiety, I have actually experienced moments of profound peace. I have felt totally fearless – in sync with nature and the universe. This is the most amazing and powerful feeling and it is becoming less random and fleeting. My life may not be perfect but it is improving and I am better equipped to deal with any challenges that I am faced with.
I have always enjoyed walking but it is something that I have not done enough of for the past several years. This summer I walked and I walked and I walked. It started off as a means to cope with health issues I was having. Following a bout of pneumonia, I could not seem to recover. I struggled to breathe and my heart would race after the slightest exertion. With respiratory specialists and therapists closed down to prevent the spread of Covid 19, I was left to my own devices. My device of choice was walking. At first, I could barely make it to the end of our block and back. Now I head out before the heat of the day and I walk for miles.
As I walk, I allow my mind to wander wherever it chooses to roam. Whatever chaos my mind decides to pursue mellows as I walk off the miles. Personal problems come into perspective. Global issues fade. There is always a turning point where instead of feeling attacked by fearful thoughts, I feel empowered. I take control and I choose. My choice is always peace.
There is so much anger and fear and hate in this world. I choose to not contribute to it. When my mind pursues anxious thoughts, I focus on peace and love. When I worry about my health, I remind myself that stress will not help my body to recover. Walking will, so I walk. When I get frustrated or concerned about my family, I wrap them in thoughts and feelings of peace and love. When I worry about our finances, I realize how fortunate we are – and I choose to be grateful for all that we have.
When my mind starts rehashing the news of the day or the reactions on social media, I refuse to dwell on these thoughts or add to the noise. I focus on peace and I move on, considering how and why I feel the way I do. I have learned a lot about myself during my walks and have become more focused on my own thoughts and beliefs. It is no longer a matter of fighting the belief of others. It is about my beliefs ringing true. If, or when, I share my thoughts and beliefs, I am no longer seeking validation or holding a do or die attitude about them. They work for me.
Despite my lack of accomplishments this summer, I feel good about how I have used these pasts months. I feel that I have evolved into a stronger, better person. Hopefully, I will knock a few projects off of my ‘still to get done’ list in the coming months. Hopefully my life will continue to improve and my issues will gradually resolve themselves. Either way, I will continue to move forward – one step at a time.
Take care out there💞