I feel flipping wonderful.
Apple Watch has been dutifully monitoring my activities so far today and it’s reporting that a little under seven miles has been walked. I’m back baby!
I know. I know.
I said I wasn’t going to walk on my shin splints for two weeks but it hasn’t hurt for a couple of days and I couldn’t resist. Being benched has frankly been doing bad things to my sense of well being and I needed to get OUT!
I’m glad I did – as my friend was waiting in the park to meet me with a buggy full of the best dressed smiley toddler I’ve seen in ages.
The little fellow had a Chewbacca onesie on! 😍
This insanely ace piece of clothing even had a little bandolier sewn diagonally across the middle and looked super furry and warm. The teeny tiny wannabe wookie looked as snug as a bug in a rug – especially with his matching (although not strictly Star Wars related) puppy faced mittens with floppy ears.
‘Did your other half buy that onesie?’ I enquired.
‘No no – I bought it for him ages ago – it was too cute!’ She said.
I stared at her.
Wow. My kind of woman. Drawn to Star Wars merchandise and making a voluntary purchase without coercion!
(Note to self – find a special lady at some point in the future with nerd tendencies.)
As we set off around the park sipping our respective coffees while mini-Chewie snoozed the conversation naturally turned toward the weather and how the recent dip in temperature (and suddenly epic levels of precipitation) had affected our moods.
It seemed that both of us were missing the summer.
It’s odd for me to admit that I do – because for so long I hid continually in the shadows from the evil and nasty yellow ball in the sky. I was well known for this – and my friend remembered that side of me well.
She seemed mildly amused when I said that I wanted the sun back.
It wasn’t just the sunshine that had gone away though. My daily walks with people had dropped off as soon as ex-colleagues found jobs, went back to work and had moved on in life.
Through my own choice though I’d taken a different path and had decided to take more time out to get fit before returning to work. Although this still seems like a great use of this period in my life it can also really make hyper aware of time that I feel may be being ‘wasted’. It can seem sometimes like a big clock is endlessly counting down to an endpoint in the background if I’m ill or can’t walk.
When I first hurt my leg it also coincided with the start of a lot of ex-colleagues and friends going back to the workplace. It was around this time that I realised how isolated it was possible for me to feel without a job to provide human contact and living on my own.
I didn’t like it at all. My social side was suddenly dramatically under nourished and to compound the negativity this brought with it I also kept hearing a voice in my head telling me I was failing in my dietary and fitness objectives.
So – to have my leg all fixed up is the absolute BEST medicine that any doctor could have prescribed. I might have felt down last week but all I needed was a blooming good walk and a two hour chinwag.
Almost as soon as we’d started our stroll we were finished, having hugs and I was waving goodbye to drive home. Time flies when you’re having fun, but we both had other things to do that day.
‘Something smells nice!’ Said my other friend as he walked through my front door into the kitchen later in the afternoon.
‘Beef stew in the slow cooker.’ I grinned. ‘Lift the lid and have a look.’ It had been cooking since around 10.15 and I could already tell it was going to be tasty.
He raised the hot ceramic top with his thumb and forefinger and peered inside.
‘It smells gorgeous!’ He said.
‘One of the ladies from Slimming World brought some fresh bay leaves in to group the other day.’ I replied. ‘I’ve been putting them in beef and chicken stews – they are absolutely awesome!’
Down on the kitchen floor Boris paced back and forth looking up. He clearly agreed.
My friend’s pooch – a hound concerned at all times with food and where it can be pilfered from was staring up intently at the work surface. He was unable to see my developing dinner, but was clearly well aware of how magnificent it smelt.
I made a cup of tea for my guest while we talked about bay leaves and other seasonings and then moved to the living room where I slumped into my armchair.
‘Bloody hell.’ My friend said. ‘I see you all the time – but sometimes I don’t notice how much weight you’ve lost.’
He stared at me.
‘You’re disappearing into that armchair. You look really different!’ He concluded.
I thanked him. It’s still hard for me to accept compliments. It doesn’t come naturally. They always make me feel uneasy – but I’m learning bit by bit to just say ‘thanks’. It does make me feel good when people point things like this out though.
It’s a sensation money can’t buy and stimulants can’t replicate.
I tapped my lap and Boris hopped up, resting his bottom on my left leg and his two front paws on my right.
There wouldn’t have been room for a dog before. I didn’t have a lap that he could have sat on, just an epic expanse of stomach. Now the little fellow has just enough space and he can casually jump onto it and receive some fuss.
Today cost nothing, apart from some petrol. All I did was walk, talk, drink coffee and pet a pooch – but honestly I feel high on life.
I have no idea why years ago, hemmed in on all sides by all the bad habits you could imagine its possible for someone to have that I failed to see the simplicity of what could make me TRULY happy in life.
It’s not money, it’s not possessions, it’s not cigarettes or alcohol, and it’s certainly not status or power.
It’s as simple as a walk in the cold around the park with a good friend and a toddler dressed as Chewbacca or a coffee with my mate and his constantly hungry bulldog.
Today I’ve shared plenty of thoughts and feelings, had a few hugs, walked several laps round a nature reserve, petted Boris, drank coffee, talked about videogames and I’m going to finish the evening with an epically delicious (and diet friendly) beef and lentil stew.
If that’s not a winner of a day Internet then I don’t know what is.