This weekend was a blur. I went out to dinner with a friend in New Roads Friday night but got home pretty early. When I woke up Saturday morning, I was energized. I had an appointment with an appliance repairman in the afternoon, but I got up, ran some errands and cleaned my house. I can’t believe how much stuff I got done. I hope I’m reaping the benefits of this new food plan. I know I’m sleeping great but don’t need to sleep as long to feel rested. It would certainly be a perk to gain an hour everyday and still feel really good.
I actually met a cool guy off Tinder last night. He’s the first one I’ve ever met off that app. It’s a superficial dating app where you just look at pictures and decide if you like the way someone looks. If you swipe right which means ‘yes’, and they swipe right on you, then you get to talk. You know absolutely nothing about each other so most of the time it’s a dead end. But, this Tinder match was nice and seemed pretty normal as normal goes. We’ll see if anything comes of it.
This morning I got up and did a run/walk for 3 miles. I read an article last week about some research that showed the best gains in quality of life from exercise peak at walking an hour a day. They did see additional gains if 20% – 30% of that 7 hours per week was of a higher intensity, so I’ve been adding some run intervals into my walks. I was wanting to pick up the pace a little anyway. That, too, will save time in the mornings as a run/walk for 3 miles will take less time than a 3-mile walk. I’m all for adding time back into my day. I did the run/walk on Friday too, and I had a lot more energy after doing it. I saw a similar result today. You can read the article here.
I got home, showered and did my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. I drove up in my driveway, and I realized that I was feeling a little depressed. I made a quick decision that I needed to get out in the sun and do something active, so I packed up Ashok and drove up to the Clark Creek Natural Area. I went there the first summer I was here. It’s a beautiful spot in the Tunica Hills that is hilly and has waterfalls. It’s hard to believe that you are in Mississippi when you are there.
I got lost on the way over. I put Tunica Hills in my GPS, and it took me to the middle of the wilderness area. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t the trail. I drove on a gravel road for several miles before I decided this was not leading to the trails. I took a minute to stop at a lovely little creek that ran under a bridge. The water was cool. The sand was a little quick-sandy, so I didn’t wade too much. Ashok didn’t have any issues, and she played around for a bit. Then we took off for Clark Creek.
Clark Creek was jammed with people. A storm blew in which provided a lot of strong breezes but not much rain. We hiked down a pretty little Primitive Trail which was essential a creek bed. Ashok had a blast chasing butterflies. It was just lovely and very relaxing. The hike is challenging as its very hilly, and I kept going around in circles on the trail. I don’t know how far I walked, but I saw the same waterfall 3 times before finding the way out. I was tired.
My friend Beth had texted me earlier in the day to see if I wanted to visit, so I texted her on the way back and told her we could meet about 4. We both decided at the same time that we wanted to ride our bikes over to the coffee shop, so we rode through Mid-City to get to the local coffeehouse. It was so much fun, and we had a long, talkative visit. I got to talk a little about my sadness, and she wisely pointed out that I was processing some grief that is still coming up for me. I felt better after shedding a few tears and talking about my feelings, and I’ll probably let myself cry a little more tonight. The only way out is through.
Today felt like old times for me. I used to be active all day long. I haven’t done that since I’ve moved here. It felt good to be moving through space and time, on foot, in the car or on a bicycle. It was fun to get lost, too. When I was writing about my grief, I realized that grief is a little like getting lost. I sometimes get caught in a circle, moving around and around what seems like the same scenery over and over. But, just like today, the circling is part of the process of finding my way out. On the trail, I kept eliminating turns until I found the right one. I had to pay more attention to the signage, and I had to ask people for help. Getting lost made me more present. It also made me more vulnerable. And the grief I’m processing right now is making more present as well. It may seem like I’m recycling the same old stuff, but my perspective is truly different every time.
I hope y’all have a good week. And, chase a few butterflies if you get a chance. You deserve it!