This week, the world has been a lot to take in. Over the weekend we had a personal loss. On Monday, we saw the worst mass shooting in our country’s history. In local news, we’ve also had a big story here about some foolish and immature high school freshmen who have shown that they have incredibly poor judgement. If there has been any good news, I sure haven’t heard much of it, aside from the tales of heroism that are pouring out of the Las Vegas shooting. It’s all been overwhelming and I admit that I was having a hard time finding serenity. I’m in the middle of my break from a stressful school year and I was planning on this break to help me recharge and refocus to be the best I can be for the next session of school. I feel like I need another week off to recover from this week.
One thing I can say that I’m happy for is National Walk Your Dog Week. This year, I’ve found a lot of solace in getting out with Bunny and Flattery and away from the news. Some days we’ve taken solitary walks where we didn’t see another person or dog, and other days we’ve taken walks in places where we’ve enjoyed seeing other smiling faces. I find myself drawn to beautiful, serene places this year, which probably isn’t an accident.
On Monday, I found myself sucked in as I watched in horror while the news of the shooting kept getting worse and worse. By lunchtime, I was still sitting in my sweatpants and shirt while the hours ticked away. That was when I made a decision to turn off the television and go out and live life. Everyone has a different opinion on what we need to do, but I think first and foremost, we have to start valuing ourselves. It’s okay to go out and walk your dog to preserve your mental health. I wish more people would take a little time for themselves and realize that it’s not selfish, it’s healthy to give yourself a little time to enjoy the world.
I always enjoy the challenge of getting out and walking the girls in different places during the first week of October, but this year, I feel like it’s been for me as much as it has been for them. One thing I have noticed is that I feel a lot more relaxed once we get out to our destination for the day and start our walk. By the end, I have felt so much better. Truthfully, I think I always feel this way when we walk together, but I’ve noticed the effects a lot more this week because I’ve been carrying so much unrecognized tension. It’s been a good reminder for me that walking really is good for us in body, mind and spirit.
As we transition to those shorter days, I’m reminded that it’s still going to be a good idea to get out there for a good leg stretch, even when I can come up with a lot of excuses not to go. There’s still time to soak up the rays of the Autumn sun and enjoy taking a walk where I don’t break into a sweat. Right now I’m just thankful that a walk can save my sanity and that I feel closer to the girls in a way I didn’t before. Seeing how much they’re enjoying getting out has made it even more fun for me. Sometimes, serenity is right there at the end of your leash waiting for you.