Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome Inside My Head

Most people make resolutions on January 1st. I believe teachers make them the first day of school. We promise to reach more students, use different methods, be more organized, and many of us choose a healthier way of life.

The first day of school is the day I promise I will pack a lunch everyday instead of looking at the snack machine or turning to the cafeteria as a last resort which maybe low in fat but is fraught with carbs. (Fraught - I love that word. It's a Middle English word for freight.) Some years I do really well, while other years not so well. Back when I cooked everyday (when was that?) I would make enough to take some to work for lunch. When I stopped cooking, I had to start purposely packing healthy lunches. We will see what kind of lunch this year has in store for me.

Another thing I have often done, in an effort for a better me, is pick up some sort of exercise routine. Many times it consisted of a gym membership that I would use for three months but give up because it required me to be there by 5 a.m. if I wanted to work out, get home, shower and AND eat a healthy breakfast in time to get to school by 7 a.m.. Little by little, I would hit that snooze bar until one day I didn't even set the alarm early anymore.

Well, today I got up early without an alarm and got dressed and went for a walk. The night before I had made somewhat of a conscious decision to tell myself, "You will get up and walk. You will get up and walk." I guess it worked. When I got up, I didn't argue with myself or give myself reasons why sleep would be a better option.

Once I hit the road, I had some decisions to make. Do I go downhill first? Nah! That means going uphill last. Do I walk down to the golf course and walk their track? Umm, too many mosquitoes. Where will I turn? How far should I walk? Finally I just started walking and forgot the questions and enjoyed seeing my neighborhood - some parts for the first time.

It is funny how you can live somewhere for seven years and never notice certain houses, certain yards, certain trees. There were several points, in fact, that I wished I had my camera, but decided it was better I didn't because I didn't want to take away from my walking effort.

That is when my brain started wandering aimlessly.
- Look at those bushes. What kind are they? Why do they bend in that direction? Is this a windy spot? Maybe they are just kind bushes bending away from the sidewalk so passersby don't have to go down on the street or walk on the homeowner's grass.
- Look at the shrub. Inconsiderate owners, letting the branches grow to the point that they lay across the sidewalk and block the way.
- Oh look at that house. It has been recently remodeled. I like that color.
- Those are very nice cars for this neighborhood. Two Cadillacs? What is that that they have in their window? Some sort of sign kind of like the ones I have seen in Hearse windows. It gives the owners name and tells that they are loan officers. Who does that? I think I know. Yep, my thoughts are confirmed. The next car has a bumper sticker in their window that says they belong to this megachurch .
- Oh man! This is the reason why I stopped exercising! My legs are getting a rash again, my hands are swelling. Keep walking Annemarie. Better to have fat fingers than a fat bum.
- How much more uphill is it? When will it be downhill? Quit complaining. At least it isn't the hill in Janet's neighborhood.
- I have reached the main road. Left or right? Go left! Where is my street? Is it this one? This one? My lord, woman! Don't you know your own neighborhood?
- Wow! That neighbor sure has a very green yard. Must be that very nice sprinkler system.
- I love the smell of sprinklers in the morning. Should I go run through it?
- Ah! DOWNHILL! How far have I walked? Should I get in the car and measure it? ( I didn't, but I will.) Have exercised enough to enjoy breakfast with my mother? Should I shower now or go like this so my mother knows that I exercised? Eeww!

Well, that was my morning walk. If you had gone with me, all of those words would have actually come out of my mouth. I am a chatty traveler (beware Peggy.) My friend Janet already knows.

I just can't wait for it to be cooler in the morning. At post time it is 79 degrees with expectations for it to reach 100F today.

Funny! Just as I was finishing this - Mary Tyler Moore's theme song is telling me, "You're gonna make it after all." I guess I need to put that on an iPod when I walk, huh?


Roban said...

Annemarie, it sounds like you and I are on the same mission! I've made a huge effort to walk this summer and have found it fun to rediscover my neighborhood. (Your thoughts sound just like the ones that run through my head ... over and over as I walk!)

My true test will be when school starts. If I walk the route I've been walking (which I think will bring the best results... trimmer waist, hips, thighs, arms, ya'name it...), I'll have to get up at 5. Yikes! (I did that years ago, but I worked in an office and could sit most of the day!)

Knowing you're doing this, too, might keep me going.... (P.S. I was listening to my iPod when I walked, but I finally left it at home, so I could enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood, too!)

Anonymous said...

Two years ago, I went for long walks 3 or 4 times a week... (I had a high bloodpressure and thought it would be good for me) I stopped when it got winter/cold but this year, my hubby and I will pick it up together - evening walks. We just have to START! Your post helps me DOING THAT AFTER DINNER!!! WE WILL!!! Loved reading this post! (PS How's your brother?)

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

How FUN!!!! I loveeeeeeeeee this post!!!! U mention "not" noticing things about your neighbors...well last night we went to Adam's new school (JUNIOR HIGH???? How did that HAPPEN?!?!?! LOL!!!!) and we walked there we went on the street side facing the houses....and on the way home we took the "back" way which caused us to see everyone's back yard.....and WOW WOW WOW...boy do people live wayyyyyyyyyyyy different in their back yards than they do in their front ones!!! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):)

Lisa Martin said...

thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. You teachers, you have my undying love and gratitude!

MJ said...

Altho I haven't taught elementary or high school, I do relate to some of the resolutions you make as a teacher when I was teaching at Uni! I didn't have to have lunch there so wasn't as carbo-driven!

Working the exercise into life is indeed challenging! I'm so glad I don't have to be at work @ 7 a.m.!

miruspeg said...

I love visiting inside your head Annemarie. You are delightfully funny, I was giggling all the way through this post.

You must take me on this walk and many others when I visit and we will 'walk our talk'!

I have given up on gym memberships....I just DON'T LIKE going to the gym! What I love is walking. When I walk by myself I don't have much of a dialogue going on in my head, I like to listen, feel the breeze on my at one with nature as they say.

BUT when I am walking with a friend I love chattering all the way, sharing laughter, dreams, memories......those are the walks I love the very best.

I feel very blessed knowing that one day you and I will be walking together, talking until we run out of breath and laughing till be fall over.

Lot of love

littlemissattitude said...

"Fraught" is a good word, isn't it. I think my favorite is "amygdala". Learned that in a psychophysiology class I took a few years ago; I just love how it sounds and looks and feels to say.

One of my favorite parts of taking a walk is having the time to let my mind wander. Unfortunately, it's very difficult now for me to take long walks...that arthritis in my ankles, knees and hips just makes it a very painful experience, if not during the walk, then later on, when all my joints decide they want to seize up.


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