Here we are again, into a new year, and I realize once again just how much I want to do and wonder how I can ever manage to fulfill all of my dreams. How do some people get bored with life when I can’t even manage to do much more than scratch the surface of my wish list?
With every new year, for as long as I can remember, comes the renewed desire to lose weight. As I age, that desire includes a lot more than just the number on the scale. Yes, that number needs to go down, but I also want to make sure my innards are staying healthy, my muscles are not atrophying and my body, in general, retains (or improves) its flexibility. This means setting aside time to exercise, which I’ve done for the more than a decade, but also means that exercise needs to include more than just the treadmill – weights, yoga, stretching, a walk outside for exercise, fresh air and peace of mind. Speaking of peace of mind, I also want to find time to think about “stuff” – life, karma, spirituality, dreams, mental expansion, i.e. learning. Thinking, reading and writing give me a feeling of fullness and joy, much like the “high” I feel at the end of a good workout. Both physical and mental pursuits leave me feeling aware. Aware of my body and all it can do; aware of my mind and heart and all there is to learn and understand. Aware of the joyful nature of life that is often forgotten in the need to just get through the day.
Yesterday and today I was up early, as I usually am, but instead of heading for the exercise room, I’ve taken the extra early-morning hours to read, think and, now write. I still got in my workout yesterday – I walked/ran a 10k, and today I will take the dogs for a walk once the sun is up, but this quiet time, this mental workout, is, oh, so precious. How do I fit this into my regular there’s-so-much-to-get-done days? Victor Hugo said, “He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out the plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” Sure, my life is busy – isn’t everyone’s? But I have learned to make time for physical exercise and it now seems so obvious that I need to make time for mental pursuits as well. Time everyday. Time that is committed to my calendar as one of the “transactions” of my day. Tomorrow, when the alarm goes off at 4:45, I will rise, workout, walk the dogs – all part of my physical fitness routine, then I will read, think and, perhaps, write – absolutely necessary components for my mental fitness. And I will do the same the next day, the day after that and, again, the following day. I have a plan.