Here I sit in a bakery most of the way through a walk. I started with the walking in 2009 in the midst of divorce and with a golden retriever that especially loved the strolls through a park. She would chase the rabbits, make friends with people, and lope ahead of us to check out every tree and bench. Soon she could not walk because of hip displasia. A terrible degenerative disease that rendered this huge 110 pound companion unable to stand without pain. She would watch me go and it broke my heart. But my ex wife would go which also broke my heart. She would complain, bitch, talk about failures (mostly mine) almost the entire time. Soon because of her lifestyle she could not walk. She had her new man which required attention. And I still lived at home as she did her thing. Topic of a post on divorce and what not to do.
But I digress. Back to walking. So this many years later I’ve changed the walking. Before I did distance or time. Tracked my course with a gps app. Even had an Apple Watch. Then I retired and it all changed. Walking became,
- An end in itself. Not measured for distance and time. In line with my no timelines, schedule, responsibilities lifestyle, walking was not a thing. It was the thing.
- Fun. I walked cities all day long. Sometimes so many miles but I did not really count. When I did check I was doing about 7 miles a day. Sometimes less. Or more. But not for any real reason. Only because it was fun.
- No profit. No gain. Sometimes pain. I did not set goals. I did not view it as profitable or reasonable or any of the reasons. I walked only to walk. It became sometimes so focused on the instant. The birds singing, wind singing.
- No goals. I don’t do goals. Walking is not a cherished milestone. It’s a day to day thing. Each walk has no purpose. No end result. No outcome.
- Finally it became mindful at times. I could get to this point of just being in the moment. Acceptance and equanimity greeted me without trying. I’ve walked a few countries and cities but especially in the edge.
I’d never encourage you to do anything I did or do. You have no reason. Find your own things to fail at. Because you got to fail to learn. Find things to succeed at and you can see how that feels. Finally find the things you do for no reason other than you just do them. No outcome expected, demanded, received.
Like my entire retired life. And walking. And living. I don’t find things to do because of an outcome. I do things because of the doing of them. Walking has just become an end game of each day. I go forth to find nothing. To seek nothing. But the birds and rain and sun and wind are my partners and confidants. I walk with no one because I don’t. And I won’t because walking is my end game. Not someone else’s.