January 1, 2013: I realize a huge percentage of New Years’ resolutions fail; I usually don’t even bother to make them. I have, however, decided to make one this year. It’s not a big life-changing resolution. It’s not some generalized thing either, like eating healthier. My resolution for 2013 is to walk every day. I’d walk the dog everyday, if we had one. But since I’m not a dog person, I’ll have to walk the non-dog. At least I won’t have anything to scoop up!
I may not go very far. I may not go very fast. I’d like to walk outside, but if it’s nasty weather, I’ll do it inside. I may walk to some place. I may walk home from somewhere. I may listen to music. I may listen to books. I may just listen to the birds.
About me: My name is Sharon, I am the mother of four, and I am turning 50 in 2013.
Update April, 2013: It’s time to come clean. I have not walked every day this year so far. I have, however, walked almost every day. Here are some reflections on this resolution so far:
- My family has really gotten into this. My kids ask to join me; my husband asks each weekend where we’re walking. We even planned walks on an overnight trip.
- I have spent significantly more time outside this winter and early spring. I haven’t spent this much time outside since I was a kid.
- This walking has been a great thing to do with our youngest son, who is on the autism spectrum. We’ve had trouble finding things that he likes or is willing to do, and he likes walking! A quiet trail has been a great place for him to expend some of his boundless energy too!
- I have become so much more observant of the world around me–not just nature, but things around the neighborhood, like the symmetry of street drains and that no two fire hydrants around here look alike.
- There are so many interesting places within thirty minutes of our home. I have been discovering the wonders of the Cook County Forest Preserves and am grateful for the efforts of the Rails-to-Trails movement. There are so many other places I still want to explore in the nearby counties and Indiana.
Update August, 2013: Over the spring and summer, we ventured into surrounding counties and states and continued to explore while walking–almost every day. My middle son, home from college for the summer, joined us on several walks, and it was fun to have him along; he makes me laugh.
We spotted birds that we have never seen before, and I finished walking a 20 mile local trail (both ways). We narrowly escaped poison ivy, ticks, and dehydration and kept sunburn and bug bites to a minimum thanks to “The Pack” (complete with hats, sunscreen, bug spray, water, binoculars, and a bird book) that was kept ready to go at a moment’s notice.
I’d like to think that my pictures have gotten a little better, because my husband got me my first DSLR camera for my 50th birthday. I’ve so enjoyed taking pictures and learning more about photography while I’m out walking.
But as I look back over the past few months, again, it’s walking with my youngest son while he’s been off of school that stands out. He and I went all over the place this summer, and I really enjoyed having him as my walking companion. Because of his autism, he’s not much of a conversationalist, but on a quiet trail or driving to a walk, we actually had a few gems of conversation.
I’m sure he and I will walk together some more, but this summer was special.