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Walking and the Bliss of the Small Step

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Yesterday, I had a rather wet and dreary walk through dark Welsh lanes; even the local wildlife appeared to have taken cover. The only exceptions were my Robin red breast and my tiny Jenny Wren, who were waiting expectantly to be fed upon my return. Although I already had an idea of my plans for the day; I always find that following my morning walk, I tend to gain a certain clarity for the day ahead. I returned to the warm bosom of my home, had a large glass of water, showered and prepared myself for the plethora of jobs vying for my attention.
Today's quote resonates with me, as lately I have discovered that I rarely attach as much importance to my once all important lofty 'lifestyle goals', but it is the smaller actions towards those goals that now take precedence. I still have the vision board that I look at daily, but breaking the whole into much smaller chunks has made me happier and more effective. For example, when I have a lot of housework, the first thing I do is pop on my favourite apron. This small action of putting a frilly 1950's style apron puts a smile on my face and adds a glamorous spring to my step.
I have abandoned the meaningless perfectionism and shunned the extreme multitasking; these acts led to a lot of jobs being unfinished with my stress levels through the roof. Now I focus on one job at a time, no matter how mundane; this mindfulness has spread to all parts of my life. I am far less stressed; plus by paying attention these small steps lead me to make better choices. From parking as far away as possible from the supermarket (I like to get those extra steps in.... literally); simplifying our entire home and making sure that I always have healthy choices to hand for the whole family.
After a day of domestic titivation, I sat down to form action plans for the week: menu planning; batch cooking schedule; then I felt a tinge of sadness when I realised that this week would be last week of preserving. This week will be pickle week; Piccalilli, cocktail onions and spiced pickled red cabbage. Marking a turn in my domestic season, the fruit and vegetables that I nurtured throughout the spring and summer months are now nearly depleted; they have been either eaten, cooked, frozen or preserved. This small change in my routine means only one thing; it is time to start preparing for winter.
Winter is not my favourite season, but over the years I have learned that this is the season for retrospection and comfort. It is not just the season for woollen mittens, flannel sheets and roaring fires (although all of these are good things). For me, winter is the time to take stock of those small actions, look at my self care and the care of my loved ones. Re-evaluate my priorities and honour them; listen to my body closely (I find my arthritis seems to worsen during the winter); go outside and get some daylight as often as possible; keep a check on my diet and exercise (keeping them both varied and interesting as possible). Individually none of these small actions are that significant. However, these small deeds are positive steps towards a happier and healthier future.

I wish you all a thoroughly blissful Thursday!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1485 days ago
    I can picture you so clearly! I use to love canning and making preserves! I loved the smell that lingered in my kitchen...in my mind I smell them still! Those were such fun days...my children all grown with little ones themselves...enjoy reminiscing about those fun autumn days we worked together! What a wonderful time in your life! It seems you are loving life! You paint such a lovely picture with your words! Thank you for sharing!
    1486 days ago
    1486 days ago
  • MISSY455
    I love reading your blogs Alexis. You paint such an interesting picture of your life :-) I hope this week of pickling goes well. I just picked up a book on pickling, something I have never tried. I love pickled beans and asparagus, and thought I might give it a whirl.

    Winter is my least favorite season as well. Here in southern California though, the weather really isn't that much worse than any other season, but my trips to the beach are much less frequent as the wind is cold there.

    Wishing you a wonderful week!

    1486 days ago
  • VEG954
    1487 days ago
    I like the image of your frilly apron! I've thought about getting one or maybe making one. Great idea.

    I found myself soothed by your well-written post. It's very calming. Thank you for sharing.
    1487 days ago
    Happy Thursday (*and* Pickle Week! :)! I loved your reflections on the "turning inward" that winter inspires. In the homogenized suburbs of our drab city, we have nothing to rival the charm of rural Wales, I'm sure, but our ice-slicked, damp winters don't beckon one outside - not by any means! Enjoy your frilly apron and batch cooking, too. Some of my weeks are heavier on the baking; some, more on the general cooking side. But I love the quiet autonomy of being on my own, at least until my husband gets home in the evening! All the best - Mary emoticon
    1487 days ago
  • GINA180847
    I sure agree with the saying at the beginning. No matter what the results are often somewhat different than we set out to achieve, not better or worse just different. Some times wonderfully different!
    1487 days ago
    I can picture your friendly robin, and imagine the surprisingly loud song of your hungry little wren. I bet they brightened your dreary morning, and you theirs! :)

    I'm glad your mindfulness and simplification are leading to greater contentment. I hope that Winter is kind to you, and that you continue towards that happier, healthier future!
    1487 days ago
    Can't agree more with your initial thought. So glad your perspective about life has been changing for the best! Love your new attitude towards winter, a very rich opportunity to re-evaluate your goals.
    1487 days ago
    1487 days ago
  • ANGELLKH1007
    Happy Thursday! Thanks for sharing.
    1487 days ago
    1487 days ago
    Interesting to hear about your daily life ! Thanks for sharing !
    1487 days ago
  • CINDYB35111
    Like the picture
    1487 days ago
    Well said thank you for sharing
    1487 days ago
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