Today is Labor Day. The weekend has been beautiful - perfect, perfect weather. It could only be more perfect if it was a fall or winter day. My walk today was between 2:00 and 3:00 - usually too hot a time to walk. If I am not listening to a podcast or a book on tape, I find my mind wanders ... settling on one topic or another.
I couldn't help but note that holidays seem to lose importance or specialness now that I am retired. We are not big holiday celebrators in our family, but when I was working - holidays were little jewels in the calendar - jewels of no work, a day of rest, do fun stuff. Now that I don't have a job, those jewels aren't so shiny as they once were. This is a small loss for sure, because the benefit of not working is more freedom. I do have more freedom now than when I was working, but not as much as I imagined. My "work" now doesn't really take holidays.
I am happy to find us now in September. I am very much a fall and winter person. I totally love cool to cold weather. I look forward to being able to take my walk any time of the day without regard to heat and humidity. And I very much hope that since I am walking an hour a day now, the fall and winter walks can be longer. The most colorful season is approaching - nothing beats the beauty of fall colors. And I think I appreciate fall and winter even more after living through summer. The change of seasons is so wonderful.
I am also very very lucky to live in a neighborhood with so many shady areas to walk. I am a shade-worshiper. The sun and I aren't friends - I get too hot and sweaty and I get brown sun spots now on my skin (a function of previous sun damage). I will go way out of my way to keep to shady areas when I walk. Some of the pictures in this post are from my walk today. I am very fortunate as well to live in a city that created walking paths into nearby wooded areas. There are miles of them. I seldom take those paths by myself - preferring to stick to the neighborhood sidewalks. Some of the paths take you though beautiful woods but are very isolated. But today I took one of these side paths - one that I knew passed by the backs of many houses. It was beautiful.
I couldn't help from reflecting happily on how quickly my body has responded to walking again and how quickly I was able to walk for an hour. I returned to walking regularly the end of July. In less than 2 months I am back to my previous times of two years ago - before my feet checked out and sidelined me. The report on the new running shoes is mixed. My feet aren't totally pain free while walking, but they return to normal almost immediately after the walk. I am thinking that there is an adjustment period since the structure of these shoes are so very different from walking shoes.
I had the dogs this holiday. Since we don't do much celebrating, it was fun to have their furry personalities here over the long weekend. And my daughter also came making it a very wonderful weekend indeed. As you can see from this picture, the dogs have bonded pretty well. Milo has his quiet times now and when that happens, they are a happy three-some.
And sometimes it is good to leave those ear buds, iPod and podcasts at home. It is helpful to give your brain a chance float from topic to topic and discover just how good your life is on the whole.