I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. I figure that if you want to do something why wait for a certain day? I suppose it helps some people but it always felt like a set-up for failure to me.
I started walking some time after the kids went back to school this fall. Just me and Spot. I mapped out a 2.1 mile route and just started doing it. The Mister got me some new shoes—the others were at least twelve years old—and off I went.
Years ago, walking and running was all I did to keep fit. It was all I could afford. (Free = Squee!) But I’m a Flatlander in constitution and when I moved here the hills of Oregon kicked my butt…and I slowly sort of…quit. This does not bode well for weight consistency, as we all know.
So, to keep myself going I needed a game to engage my brain so I didn’t quit this time around. I started giving all the different houses along the route names. There’s the Bumblebee House, which is painted in the brightest, freaking yellow that you could imagine, complete with black and white trim. (I think they inspired the folks at Google Earth because you can probably see it from their headquarters in California.) Then there is the Glossner House, a replica of the feared neighbors on ABC’s “The Middle.” And the Not Martha Stewart’s House, of whose owner I’m pretty sure is red/green colorblind.
I’m also encountering wild life. There’s the Mastiff/Lab mix frantically trying to get through the fence and kill us. And the dinky Terrier trying to do the same thing and almost succeeding.
And the people? They can’t help but smile at a Dalmatian. That’s something I’ve noticed that hasn’t changed over the years of owning this breed. Even the high school kid I see periodically breaks his “cool” demeanor with a big grin and says “hello.” The landscaper smiles and stops his leaf blower when we walk by because “it would freak my dog out, too.” Parents I know from the school district drive by and yell out my name from minivans. Other dog walkers nod. Bus drivers wave.
These past two weeks of holiday obligations have gotten in the way of The Walking. Now that I have a pattern going I am reminded at how much I’m missing it (even in the pelting rain and freezing cold.) And that’s as good a resolution as any.