I walked home from work the other day. It takes about an hour at a reasonable pace, but that day I was in no rush at all. The sun was darting in and out between fluffy clouds and there was a gentle breeze in the air. There were flowers everywhere, vibrant green hues in the branches overhead, and the recent rains had swollen the river enough to give it a pleasing burble as it meandered its way downstream.
There is something very soothing about walking with no real purpose, letting your body find its own pace, feeling the connection your foot makes with the ground and how your body reacts to that. A simple way to stay, literally, grounded and able to take in the world around you in all its beautiful detail, a simple way to feel alive as your skin reacts to the wind brushing past and the warmth of the sun on your face.
I’ll typically listen to a podcast as I walk, sometimes losing myself in the conversations (and it’s always conversations that fascinate me the most). Sometimes I’ll laugh out loud, sometimes I’ll realise I’m on the verge of crying at as a tear rolls down my cheek, sometimes I’ll be so lost in thought that I don’t even realise I’ve stopped listening to the podcast as my brain has veered off on a tangent.
It’s such a simple pleasure afforded to me thanks to some fabulous weather recently and one I should take more often. It’s time that is completely free of pressure or expectation – one benefit of being single and living alone as there isn’t anyone waiting for me – and I can let my brain relax and let the stresses of the day slowly fade to nothing. No matter how hard I try, I can’t achieve this feeling sitting at home. There are too many reminders of chores that need done, tasks that need completed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve walked home, and the walks have become meditative in quality. Sometimes they can be melancholy (which is no bad thing), sometimes they can be energetic and uplifting, and most times they leave me with a sense of calm, a happiness that descends and highlights how lucky I am and how good my life is.
It’s not something I write about all that often, after all no-one likes the humble brag but I think it’s important to find a balance so if you’ll forgive me, let me count my blessings.
1. A loving family
We’ve been through wonderful highs and soul destroying lows together and I realise more and more just how lucky I am to have a family who love me, who support me, and who put up with me! My parents brought me up to be a considerate person, a curious person, and without them I would not be the person I am today. Equally, my little sister continues to inspire me to be kinder and better, and I could not be happier or prouder seeing her become a Mummy.
2. Close/old friends
There aren’t that many of them but what my closest group of friends lack in number they more than make up for in every other way. If I’m ever a bit flat, or ever too full of myself, these are the folk to keep me grounded and balanced. We pick up where we left off, old jokes are mercilessly recycled year on year. These are the people who’d help me hide a dead body.
3. Friends and acquaintances
The biggest group by far, and I’ve already written about how many of them are connected. From the bloggers to the gym goers, the Yelpers and the ex-colleagues I try and keep in touch with as many of them as I can. It’s not always easy, and definitely not something I’m good at but they are all good people so it’s never a chore.
4. Other life stuff
I have a job. I have a roof over my head and food in my cupboards. It’s easy to take that for granted, just as it’s easy to take my (mostly) good health as just the way things are. I’ve worked on both my mental and physical health a lot these past couple of years, and will continue to do so, and that is a blessing in and of itself as well.
Of course there is much more to all of this.
The bottom line here, one that I don’t state all that often, is that I am happy. I have a good life, even on the crappiest of crap days, all of the above hold true. There is always a new day on the horizon. I am happy, and for once I really wanted to show it.