This week on Facebook, a post came across my feed on Halloween; incidentally, I did not have any trick-or-treaters at my apartment, which was good, because I had no candy. I think children live in building as I have seen tiny bikes in the garage, but I can’t swear to it. Maybe they belong to a grown up who just likes tiny bikes. Or a tiny grownup.
So this post, here it is, put up by my friend Candace:
And Candace challenged her FB friends to do the 20 day challenge.
Now, I was going to write this week about the time I drove the Long Island Rail Road (it’s true, I did), but when I saw this post I figured it could wait until next week.
So I decided to try to follow the list, and on first night, I went to bed an hour before my usual time, or around 10 pm. Fell asleep pretty quickly too.
But then I woke up an hour early, just after 4 am. The good news is that after a quick trip to the bathroom and just a few minutes, I managed to fall back to sleep and wake up to the sound of the newscast my clock radio is tuned to (yes, I still have one, and until it breaks, I plan to use it. Do not judge.)
So that kind of went ok.
Day 2? Journal ten things you are grateful for…
Well, seeing as I was trying to think of my blog post for this week, and the only subject I was considering writing about was the time I drove the train, I figured I could get to my list this week.
That said, this may not be as easy a list to make as I thought it would be at first. But here goes:
- I am grateful for my family
- I am grateful for my friends
- I am grateful that I live in Canada
- I am grateful for the change of seasons
- I am grateful for the gift of sight
- I am grateful for the ability & means to travel
- I am grateful for words, and language(s)
- I am grateful for pretty much everything in nature, except mosquitoes. And tornadoes.
- I am grateful for my health
- I am grateful, overall, for my life lived–so far (so much more to go!)
So I started writing the list on Day 2–Friday–and finished it off this morning. It really did take some thought.
Yesterday, Day 3, was supposed to be cool and cloudy, but I wanted to follow the list and decided to go for a walk. Instead of whipping around the block just to get it done, I headed to a park at the bottom of the hill near my apartment, after I ran my errands.
This park runs along the river and the train tracks run right through it, so I got to watch a freight train as it lumbered east from the Rockies (remember, next week is about trains, so I won’t say more on this today. Or tattoos. I’m not sure which).
Normally the park is packed and finding a parking space in the middle of the afternoon is an impossibility. But seeing as the weather was forecast to be a bit off, I managed to find a spot, easily. Still lots of people, but a little room too.
I liked it. The path–a good paved path–is solid and flat and asphalt; it’s divided to allow for safe passage for everyone–for bikes and blades and pedestrians. It winds along the river, parallel to the tracks, so I walked a bit towards the city, then turned and headed back into the main part of the park. Even the part in the park that is compressed dirt, covered in leaves and pine needles, is soft and straight. There’s a bridge that crosses the river, so I headed to that side, where there’s a little coffee shop (about to become bigger it seems, as lots of work was going on).
The list doesn’t say how long to walk, so I think it’s up to you. I don’t think distance is key; I think it’s more about taking note of where you are–figuratively and literally. I went for two hours, much more than I thought I would…but it felt great.
And the bonus? The cloudy cold day, as you can see, turned out to be quite sunny and actually pretty mild–into the low teens (mid 50s F). I’m really glad I took the time to do this; the air was warm and scented with fall, people were present but not in abundance, and I found, for me, a new path.
But now I have some questions:
- Are you now supposed to go to bed an hour earlier every night, or was it just for that first night? Last night was Daylight Savings Time–clocks back night, so it was easy…but moving forward? I don’t know if I can go to bed at 10 every night.
- Can you swap some days around? For example, it would be much easier to de-clutter my desk/office on a weekend day than during the week, and definitely after my son’s cat stops living in that room (she’s in there because my two guys don’t want to make nice, yet. It’s been just under a week and we have a week to go.)
- What if you don’t pray? Can you just reflect? I would assume so…
- Can you watch a sunrise instead of a sunset? (I’m at work when the sun sets. Oh wait, I’m at work when the sun rises now too…hopefully the swap is ok and I can do it on the weekend.)
- Can you eat inside if it’s snowing outside? Also the breakfast thing. Ever since I set my kitchen on fire, I don’t use the stove on work mornings.
- Am I overthinking this?
See Day 20.
Give it a try and let me know how you do!