A neighbor of mine named Lois walks past my house every day. She has earphones in and is listening to a book on tape. If I yell out to her, however, she will stop to talk. She’s slender, unlike me, and pushes on in any weather. In fact, if you want to know what the weather will bring on any day all you have to do is spot Lois and her outfit will tell you.
I envy Lois her slimness, her dedication to exercise. She doesn’t walk fast. Every time I see her she’s just trudging along. She told me yesterday, when I was out cleaning up the yard from what was under winter’s snow, that she enjoys walking the same route every day because she watches the progression of the trees and flowers through the seasons. And she doesn’t have a dog with her either.
Now this is where I begin to get confused. I could walk everyday like Lois. I could figure out the technology of listening to a book on tape. I could. But what would I do with my dogs??? That sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it. Does it? I guess that depends on where you stand with dogs. (I almost wrote “that depends on where you stand on dogs” but that definitely doesn’t sound right.)
I would feel vulnerable and nervous if I didn’t have my dogs with me. This might be a family problem as we all have multiple dogs and our lives revolve around them. I know, but that’s just the way it is.
So, if I turned left out my gate we would have to walk past a neighbor who has two big dogs. My tiny seven pound Snitz has already been attacked by one of the dogs, a part St. Bernard. So that’s out. If I turn right out the gate we would be fine for a while but then there’s a fork in the road with traffic. I could load all four of the doggies up and drive up the mountain to a road that is rarely used and the view from up there is spectacular. I think that’s what I’m going to have to do. Now, to tackle the other end of this problem, the end with which I should have begun this blog, but didn’t.
My medications make it difficult to wake up, get up, move, in the morning. The worst part of it was the fog surrounding my thoughts. I simply could not see through the fog no matter how I prepared for it. For instance, I would make an elaborate plan the evening before to try to force myself to read a note in the morning telling me why I needed to get up. I would set an alarm but when I woke up I wouldn’t read the note and I’d hit the snooze button over and over! (I have a great appreciation for the husband who would bring me coffee in bed to help me wake up – but he’s long gone.) Nothing seemed to work until I landed on a simple plan: TAKE MY MEDICATIONS EARLIER AND GO TO BED EARLIER!!! Why did it take me so long to figure that out? The answer is, I believe, because I was undiagnosed properly until I was 50 and that’s many years of habit to break. I love nighttime. I love the quiet and the dark and going to bed late is what I did, even when I wasn’t manic. Nighttime was my time. This same husband would go to bed at 9pm, I would join him much later. This didn’t help our marriage. It’s hard to believe but I actually go to bed at 9 or 10 now and get up at 8:30am. Amazing! Sometimes the simplest fix is all there is to it!
So, waking and walking are related. Getting exercise helps with sleep and helps with the guilt I feel if I don’t walk my dogs.
Walking or not walking shouldn’t be a matter of debate. I should be like Lois and walk, no matter what. I’ll figure out the book on tape.