Another Long Walk

A long time since I last posted-that phrase has become a familiar refrain- but it’s true nonetheless. And some lovely people have asked me “Where’s the blog? We’ve not heard from you in a while.” And there are reasons.

Family stuff mostly: becoming emotionally and otherwise entangled in affairs which aren’t really mine, except they are. Family life is not like a safety deposit box- and it appears even those are not so safe as they might be – you can draw boundaries and tell yourself as often as you like that “it’s not my stuff” but the sadness creeps in anyhow. However I have found solace in a number of practices.

1. Making cake and then eating cake. My waistline has suffered but at least I am not pouring gin down my throat.

2. Walking, of course. Long walks in the glorious Kentish countryside wordlessly reconnecting with my creator and creation. The bluebells are out and however brief their appearance is each year they never fail to lift my spirit. As do the newly unfurling baby beech leaves, pale and vulnerable, and persistent.

3. Some attempt at mindfulness which should be called mindlessness I feel as it’s the mind, its prevailing thought patterns which churn and lurch in a pointless circular fashion, which send a mood spiralling downwards. I endeavour to catch my thoughts before they gather pace and while acknowledging them return to focussing and following my breath in and out. Very basic. Very effective.

4. Spending time with the little boys, who are transparent and do not yet have complex needs. A biscuit, a nap, a story, a cuddle.

All these help restore and ground me.

And yes I have external reasons why I haven’t been writing but there is also a sense of unworthiness/perfectionism which requires me to write something ‘good’ or well thought through or uplifting. As if my readers needed me to be a certain kind of writer! How narcissistic is that!

Anyhow I’ve started again and as
Helen and I are about to start on Another Long Walk I have the perfect re entry point to the blog.

We are walking Offa’s Dyke and start next Thursday. Eek! Day one is 17.5 miles. There are 400 stiles on the way. We will have ascended the height of Everest by the time we finish at Prestatyn. The guidebook has so much information it makes me feel weak to read it.

But what have I learned? One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and lots of cake. Looking forward to it.

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10 thoughts on “Another Long Walk

  1. how lovely to read a post from you! I wrote on my own blog this morning about trying to find firm ground under my feet again after family shenanigans, so this very much resounded with me. however I unaccountably omitted cake from my self-prescription so thank you for that reminder….and whatever/whenever you feel like writing sounds like the ‘right’ thing and time to me. look forward to hearing about Offa’s Dyke!

    • Thank you Primrose. It was your references to Headspace which encouraged me to sign up for the mindfulness course. I’d done some practice before but Andys approach feels very genuine and doable. So thanks for that too.

  2. Cecelia Frey. Greetings from western Canada. I’d like to join your walk but 400 stiles! I don’t know. Liked your comments on mindfulness and controlling negative thoughts.

    • Thank you Cecelia. There were a lot of stiles and it was hard but very rewarding. We are planning another walk in August on the Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire. Better get my boots ready.

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