A Walk to Work Wonders

It’s been a busy few weeks for me. Usually, that brings me joy, but coming on the heels of a very slow couple of months and at the same time as the release of Tears of the Kingdom, I found myself resenting things that I would otherwise enjoy.

Now, this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy being busy. An evening at the opera, a night of sleepy snuggles, new friends, an outing with the folks, all brought their own delights and I am happy to have done them. But it contributed to an uncharacteristically black mood on a glorious early summer day.

I love walking. To the store, from the bus, around Greenlake, I will invent chores and destinations so I have an excuse to walk somewhere. I am fortunate that I have a variety of pedestrian friendly places to roam without needing a plane, train, or automobile to access them. As part of my self care, I try to take at least a short walk every day.

Which is why I was surprised at how resentful I felt towards this walk! I knew it was good for me, I had made plans to chat with a friend along the way, the sun was out but it wasn’t too hot… in a few words: the day was perfect, I was about to do something I enjoy, and I wasn’t happy about it.

I’m glad I did it anyway.

It took almost the entire walk to bring me around. An hour it took me, of soaking in sunshine, reminding myself to enjoy moments for what they are and not worry about what they aren’t, and listening to music. I was a few blocks from home when Chandelier by Sia came on my playlist and one lyric jumped out at me: “I’m gonna live like tomorrow does’t exist.”

What if today was my last day on earth? What would I wish I had done by the end? Would I really be upset that I spent a day with my best friend instead of gaming? Would I regret staying in bed all day instead of having a face-to-face heart-to-heart with my mom? Would I lay on my death bed wishing I hadn’t stopped quite so many times to say “I love you” to those I love?

And suddenly, my perspective shifted.

Instead of wishing I could abandon my professional and personal responsibilities, I remembered that there is a reason I opted into them, and those reasons are still real. I realized that there will always be tomorrow for frivolity, that I was glad to have done these important things, and that I could have it all. Eventually.

Sometimes it sucks to be a grown up. To have only yourself to blame when you can’t take a day off. To fret over the future and choose to do the responsible thing instead of the fun thing. But it is also empowering. I can choose to work hard at the things I value: my relationships personal and professional. And at the same time, I can choose to appreciate them. And I can choose to play, too.

So today I exercise, because it’s good for me and it feels good. I work, because it’s good for me, and it feels good. I tell my people I love them, because it’s good for me, and it feels good. I play, because it feels good, and that is good for me. And I take a fucking walk, because it turns out it’s good for me, even when it doesn’t feel good.