Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Walking Self Talk - its a whine

I feel like I need to whine! And not the good kind like a tasty Cabernet Sauvignon wine! This posting is "self talk" - a chance to pour out some frustrations with my walking progress this month. Feel free to check in with me on another day if you can't stand whining.

October has been almost a bust with regards to walking. The most beautiful month of the year, and I am struggling to get out the door. I have missed so many days of walking this month, that it will be next to impossible to break the 10,000 steps per day average mark for October.

Now for my excuses (there are no excuses, but I have them anyway):
  • It seems that my life is filled with activities from the time I get up until my head hits the pillow. That is a pitiful excuse, but it is my struggle. Now don't get me wrong. None of these activities are jumbos - like trying to hold down a job. But they are the things that make up my life, that I can't drop because they give me satisfaction and/or they are part of taking care of my family. I can't just drop taking care of mom. She is so dependent now. And neither family member drives, so I can't just say "Sorry, I don't feel like driving today" - not that either of them demand much in that area. I spend 5 to 6 days a week taking care of my children's dogs. I must have them for sanity! But when they are here, I can't leave the house much because neither mom nor my husband could manage the 3 - I can hardly manage the 3. I won't give up knitting, reading, knitting group, Tai Chi, weaving, blogging, walking or any of my other interests because the loss of those would make my life so colorless. Walking alone couldn't make up for the loss of my fun stuff.
  • I can give up house cleaning and cooking (and have done so - sadly), but you know what will happen. At some point I will explode and just becoming a cleaning machine, angry with myself for letting things get so far behind - skipping my fun stuff - including walking.
  • Sometimes the balance of being in the house and not being in the house is a challenge. Mom is pretty much house bound. For example, just a trip to the bank can be an effort at times. So she is stuck in the house. She isn't one to have hobbies. Her only hobby (other than watching me) seems to be reading, and she doesn't do that as much as she used to. So my absences from the house seem to weigh heavily on her. Many of my activities take me out of the house - so at times when I am ready to walk, I have already been gone alot that day for other stuff. It is hard to put my walking shoes on and leave once again.
And so those are my frustrations. I still haven't heard back from God on my request for a 36 hour day. Some have suggested that I get hire a caregiver to come in for mom so I could get more time away ... but neither my husband nor my mom would like that. And I am not sure that would make things better anyway. It is sort of like being a teacher. Teachers do more work to prepare for the substitute teacher than if they just stayed did the job themselves. Care giving is like that. To hire a professional in home caregiver would require much prep work as to negate the positive benefits you are aiming for. And I don't think it would add much value to mom's life either. She hates change.

I think that I have to accept that care giving of an elderly person alters your life no matter how much you struggle to prevent it. Many of those alterations are subtle, not readily evident to the casual observer. And it is one of the hinderances to getting a daily walk.

Now for the Walking Self Talk
  • You will go out for a walk today.
  • You will not look back at your poor performance so far in October.
  • You will find a way to keep everything in your life - just not to excess.
  • You will be happy that you have all these things in your life - because you want them there!
  • You will allow yourself to whine occasionally, but you won't dwell on it.

I feel so much better.


  1. Whine on, but not too long lest it descend into inaction. The Help Problem is one you will have to navigate soon, and it is a big one with no really easy answers dearheart. But you must put on your own oxygen mask first and save your own peace of mind or you can't give care with a happy heart. So many of us have walked/are walking this same path, wish there were easy answers. You are aware of what you need, so that is good. Take care.

  2. That is the reason I walk first thing in the morning. Nothing gets in the way then. I know that you aren't a morning person so I know that won't work for you. :-)
    No looms yet!

  3. I don't think you should be so hard on yourself, and I don't think you should allow walking to become a reason to stress. If you get out just 1 day a month to walk, and it is a happy walk, that is better than if you you went out 10 days and the rest of the month you were stressed about it.

    You are not really retired, taking care of mom is a full time job, just not one with a salary attached to it. And like someone with a full time job, you have only limited hours that can be devoted to leisure activities. You are lucky to have so many things that you are interested in doing, but it is a double-edged sword - it means that some fun activities just don't get done. For you, that may be walking.

    I get my walk/run in most days because for me, it is at the top of the list of things that make me happy. As is cooking - I cook even though there is no one to feed. But the house is a mess, my garden is overrun, my office is still not finished, no time for photography, and I will probably close down my blog as I have only updated it once this year, I think.

    I'm not saying you should forget about walking. I'm just saying you should give yourself a break and let the leisure activities fall as they will. The ones you make time for will naturally be the ones you most enjoy.

    By the way, I got this new iPhone app called Pulse that works with Google Reader so that now I can keep up with blogs on my phone!!! Now the comments will start....:-)

  4. Hello all
    My sister has joined the conversation! Yeah! Things should get more interesting. She is opinioned like me! Just like me!! :-)

    Anyway, I am really good at being hard on myself. That is what Type A personalities do - and they do it extremely well! I have spent a life time of doing that. It will take me more than one posting to change that behavior!

    Well I understand not beating myself up about walking. Actually that was the underlying meaning of point #2 in my self talk. But I won't relax on pushing myself for walking. After I walked today, I really did feel better. It is like taking a "feel better" pill. The fact I blogged my frustration is the result of not walking for about 5 days in a row so I sort of sprung a leak!! I am better now than I was this morning.

    What I think I need to be is more forgiving of myself in not doing everything I want/need to do ... which is pretty much what my sister is trying to get into my head.

  5. It is hard to get everything into a 24 hour day unless you have few responsibilities and few interests - needless to say not you! Not me either. I took this week off, we were going to the beach. This and that came up - needed to be taken care of so we decided to stay home. So far this week I have done no weaving related activities except look through one of my weaving books. My spinning consists of winding half of my last project off the bobbins and the only knitting I have done was in the car on the way to&from Sara's farm today. And that is a week when I am not going to work!!!! It is amazing how much you fit into your days - but there is a limit! You know that in your head - that 36 hour day would be nice :)


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