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The gift of lethargy

My cousin Stephanie always says she takes a lethargic walk each morning.

Lethargic walk. I love that.

I tend toward being pretty competitive. When I walk I’m always trying to beat my last time or distance. Since I set a goal of being more present this year, a lethargic walk was just as what the doctor ordered.

The other day, I was feeling pretty blue. It was one of those days when I just couldn’t move. I fight depression and somedays it just doesn’t take much to crawl through the mouth of the depression cave. Today, I walked right through the door and took a nap.

I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t go to my office. I didn’t do laundry. I sat and watched Facebook videos and old reruns on tv.

There was a time when I would have crawled inside the refrigerator or pantry and eaten my way to a false sense of feeling better. I’m quite thankful to say I don’t do that anymore.

It’s unseasonably warm here. It feels like March. Cold and windy. There’s no snow. The sky is bright blue. I hopped in my pickup and drove to my neighbor’s house. You’ll notice Back Porch Fabrics is one of my official sponsors. It’s my home away from home. I knew my friend Jenni (Queen Shoot-n-Sew) was there and she’d have a dog with her.

Here’s the thing about me and dogs. I want one. I can’t have one. We aren’t home consistently and it wouldn’t be fair to the dog, as the poor critter would be on its own. So, I time-share dogs. I have a group of friends who have dogs and they graciously allow me to borrow their pups when I need canine companionship. I stopped in at the fabric store where Jenni was teaching a class and borrowed her young hunting dog named, Ellie.

We took off with the intent of just walking down to the stop sign and back. Probably a mile-ish roundtrip. But then the two of us saw deer tracks in the mud and decided to follow them down a harvest road through our farm. (Yes, the fabric store is next door to our farm. How lucky am I?) Ellie and I wandered about and just enjoyed the day.

Ellie and I were taking a lethargic walk. The wind was crisp…almost too cold. But it was nice to be outside. To inhale fresh winter air.

My new friend Ellie on our lethargic walk

I focused on being outside, doing something I really enjoy; walking. Not for time or speed --- to just walk. Guess what? I really enjoying walking. Lethargically walking.

When I got back to the fabric store, Salli (Queen Stitch-n-Snip) needed help. She was making lunch for the students in the sewing class that day. Her stove had run out of propane and she needed me to either run to town to get something different for lunch or take the meal she was preparing and finish it at my house. I grabbed her pan of chicken and vegetables and headed for home.

All morning the Shoulds were bringing me down. I should have gone to the gym, I shouldn’t let other people bother me, I should be working more, I should, I should, I should. But, then, my friend needed me. It was just what I needed. This is what I SHOULD be doing. I should be present and available to help my friends, the people I cherish.

I came home and put her meal in my oven and started baking a pie – a birthday gift for a beloved uncle. I threw some laundry in the washer. I took a nap. I did some embroidery.

I even worked for a bit.

The blues were still hanging around me. But instead of sitting immobile in my chair, I opted to move. I allowed myself to feel the blues that were plaguing me. I accepted them and worked through them.

I know the negative feelings started because someone, two people actually, had sent texts that hurt my feelings. I don’t believe either person intended to hurt my feelings, so I knew it more about me than them.

The view from my lethargic walk

I had to acknowledge I was feeling under appreciated. The thing is, the people who hurt my feelings (or I should say, the people whom I allowed to hurt my feelings) were not spending any time worried about me and my feelings. Salli appreciated my help in getting lunch for her customers finished. Jenni appreciated me taking her dog for a walk so she wouldn’t be stuck in the kennel all day. Those are the people who matter. The authors of those texts? Not so much.

We are all allowed to feel the way we feel. To take the time to understand them and figure out why those feelings became overwhelming. Too often, the Shoulds try to make us feel less than we are. In reality, none of us are less than anything. We are all enough for no other reason than we exist.

If you are also feeling those mid-winter blues, I highly recommend a lethargic walk outside if you can. If the weather is too nasty where you are, then maybe you can find a different lethargic activity. Whatever you decide is perfect.

Best wishes for an awesome week, my Queendom.

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