At 5:30 in the afternoon, I stepped outside of the back door, without falling I might add, and decided it was way to beautiful outside to go to the gym. Instead, I would walk a couple of miles around town and be back by 6:15 in time to feed the pups. It was a well laid out plan, and I looked forward to my brisk walk.
I was a quarter mile into my walk when a local restaurant employee stopped me to say hello. The next thing I knew he was pouring his heart out about his childhood, his mom, brother and his life now. Instead of getting inpatient about "my" stuff (my walk, timeline, cardio routine), I listened with intent. In other words, I was there...really there and listened. In the end, I hugged the man and went off to continue my walk.
Down by the water front, the sun was shining brightly and the breeze was blowing in way that made me wish I had long flowing hair like the Clairol ladies on the TV commercials. For the first time in a long time, I noticed the plethora of really good looking men on the River Walk. Yay! Just as I was admiring the scenery, I looked up to see a tall, handsome, blonde man. I've always had a thing for tall, blue eyed blondes. The man stopped, said hello and gave me a big hug. It was Todd, the man who sold us our first house in the Wilmington area. After we caught up for a bit, I continued on my way; all the while I practiced my MBSR and was in the moment.
As I passed The George restaurant, I listened to the duo guitar players on the deck. When they finished their song I was the only one who clapped and appreciated their music. We exchanged contact information, and I offered to help them get a YouTube channel up and running for them and continued my walk. By the time I finished with the musicians, I was only half way done with my walk. Oh, well. It was nice to enjoy the weather and the people.
On my final approach into town and back home, I stumbled upon a group of young people performing dance and puppetry on the sidewalk. When the young women asked me for a donation I literally had not one cent on me, but I stopped to listen to what they were doing. It was a company called Messenger Productions Universal Records, and for nine weeks out of the year they stop production and donate their time, money and resources to provide a Summer Dance Camp for kids in the area. It's free, and the only thing the parents need to provide is a bag lunch for their kids. It's a place to learn dance, puppetry, exercise, and they even work with the kids to help with academic improvement. Immediately, this struck a chord with me, because this is what I am trying to do with Chow Bella Cooks for Kids...a place for kids to go after school to learn cooking, arts, crafts and improve their academic skills. In other words, to help keep the kids off the streets in the summer and after school and give them a safe and nurturing place to learn great skills. The women and I exchanged contact information, and I have a check going out to support them today.
By the time I walked through the back door it was nearly 7 o'clock. Max was furious, as he had not had is five o'clock meal on time! He gave me a few strong "woo woo's!"
Yesterday I was feeling a little down and unfulfilled in my life. I was feeling like I hadn't helped anyone, contributed to the community or focused on anything else but myself lately. However, after my evening walk, I felt re-energized and part of life once again.
Many of my friends are Tri-athletes, "Mudders," Ironmen, marathoners etc., and I commend them. It's great to have a hobby and give so much to one's self. I guess I need a little more balance in my life, and if I was on a hard core training session yesterday and got de-railed, it may have pushed me over the edge. Instead, I came home much happier than I did after I completed a 15 mile run. Just as much as exercise, a good diet, and fun at work are important to my well being, so is being part of the community and giving back.