List the things that make you feel healthy: Mind, Body, and Soul:
- A daily walk. This is something that my friend, Judi, and I started many years ago. When we finished our shift at the Shamrock, we’d walk along the harbor to the lighthouse at Whiskey Point and back, before getting in our cars to get on with our day. It became a habit that I loved. It was time to talk, to decompress after a day’s work, to swing our arms, feel the sun on our faces and enjoy the fresh air. I added a walk from my home to the end of Fox Lake Road, then expanded that a couple times a week to the six mile circle up Fox Lake Road to the airport corner, then south on West Side Drive to where it met Fox Lake Road at the other end, then north back to my house. Soon my friend, Donna, who lived on Fox Lake, joined me for those long walks. Before I had dogs, I would sometimes pick up Aunt Katie’s dog, Baxter, or Drywall Mike’s dog, Maggie, to walk with me. When I got dogs of my own, there was even more incentive for getting out there. Habits that take years to form can – without a bit of trouble – fall away in no time at all. A few hard winters followed by massive mosquito harvests in the spring, a different job with longer hours, my friends moving away or changing jobs, more obligations than I can fit into a day, my dogs passing on, leaving me with only one chubby, short-legged, lazy chihuahua…all of these things contributed to the falling away of my good regimen. Now, with a big dog who likes the exercise, I’m working to reestablish the pattern. Most days, Darla and I take a two-mile walk. On days when we can entice little Rosa Parks to come along, we cut back to one mile. It’s doing us all some good.
- Yoga. I’m not very flexible, but when I regularly practice a simple routine, I feel the improvement in my posture and bearing.
- Bicycling. I bought a bicycle about twenty years ago, when I didn’t have a dependable car. For several months, it was my transportation to and from work. Sometimes, after riding the seven-and-one-half miles to my job and back, I’d decide to ride the eight miles down to Iron Ore Bay, to take a swim. I never felt healthier, and had never been in better shape. There is a long, coast-able slope on the way to the south end of the island. I’ll always remember the combination of power, exhilaration and joy I felt, riding down that road on the way to the water.
- Working in the studio, for all the good reasons.
- Gardening. Digging and weeding are mindless, in-the-moment meditative activities. Planning, laying out and planting a garden feed into my desire to put the world in order. There was a time when I thought I’d never want to step foot in a garden again, but there’s something very therapeutic about having my hands in the dirt.
- Sunshine. I used to sit in the window like a cat, basking in the sunshine. I enjoy the beach on a hot, sunny day. I love the warmth of the sun, always.
- Reading. It makes me feel connected in a way that interactions with other people rarely do. I suppose reading is a manner of socializing, at least for this introvert!