Yesterday, in the middle of our first snow of the year (well, ok, beyond the 30 minutes of snow showers we had a few weeks ago which I won't count), I took a 30 minute walk outside. Of course, if I had woken up on time and felt more motivated, I would have gone to the gym and worked out there before the snow started but clearly I was not functioning properly. I would say that I will learn from that for the next time but, knowing myself, I doubt it. :-)
Nonetheless, I did this walk in order to get exercise as that is something that I am trying to focus more upon - exercise, that is. Spending most of my days in front of a computer or at meetings and such is not terribly conducive way of feeling good so I have to find another way of doing it. I would run but I have an arthritic knee that screams at me in 6 different languages when I try; I have instead tried to walk very quickly and hope that my knee does not become too upset.
Now, normally when I find myself alone (often in my car as I traverse the 25 minutes each way to work and back), I tend to have long, prolific conversations with myself in my head. It is a method that I used for many years to come up with stories that I would then write down. Of course, the fact that it also made me look a wee bit on the loony side was an unfortunate side-effect was that it would ensure no one would want to approach me (or fortunate, if you consider that it would keep people away that, in many cases, I did not want to interact with in the first place). It also helps me to sometimes rationalize things in my head that may have been bouncing around inside for a while. In short, such time alone has been like speed for the neural synapses and, after many years, have been very reassuring to me.
However, yesterday, I was approaching the end of my walk when I realized that my mind was completely blank. Not necessarily blank as in the vacuous statements issued by politicians to encourage people to vote for them but blank as in nothing was distracting me from what I was doing and I could focus, such as it was, on the current here and now. And for those who know me, being able to focus in such a manner is a rare event, indeed. It was a blankness that was a peaceful feeling that permitted me to find the balance that I often seem to lack in my occasionally frenetic daily pace. To essentially blank myself from everything for that short time is reassuring and grants me the ability to reacquire the sense of peace that is the legend written about in prose and poetry. It does not happen, and indeed has not happened, very often but that makes it so much better when it does occur. It is almost like recharging the mental and emotional senses and a restoration of equilibrium that it so often needed in my own chaotic world so I am grateful.
I'd be even more grateful if I could find that same sense of blankness when I want to go to sleep - but perhaps that is asking a bit much?