I didn’t have a great night’s sleep last night. I had a lot on my mind and kept turning memories over and over.
However – whilst I think it’s important to take time to feel and process what I was feeling I also think that there’s no mileage in disappearing into a sea of misery for the sake of it.
Dwelling endlessly on things you can’t change isn’t healthy and after a period of introspection you need to get up, dust yourself off and do something positive.
In my case it won’t come as much of a surprise that I chose walking.
I left the house this morning two hours before sunrise (5.45am) in the pitch darkness (there and no streetlights at that time and you have to pray no dogs have left unexpected surprises) and started making my way toward the horizon.
Unsurprisingly (thanks to science proving the world is NOT flat) I didn’t reach it and the beautiful sunrise I was hoping for (it was lovely yesterday but I didn’t get a photo) never materialised.
However – it wasn’t of any consequence. Being outdoors is enough today. Doing anything positive is the right thing when you feel low.
You can’t expect a good mood to come to you.
Just like the horizon and the sunset you have to go looking for it.
You never know what you’ll find if you go hunting and whether once you’ve finished you’ll either feel better or worse – but in my experience it’s rarely the latter.
There’s too much benefit to be had from exercise and getting your pulse up to not feel even just a tiny bit more alive.
I’m also reminded when I spontaneously go exploring that there’s a world out there that’s still turning no-matter how I feel.
It’s full of life that’s continually in a process of renewal. To go outside is to be reminded that nothing is final and everything can change. It’s a positive and healthy thing to do.
Whilst it’s been freezing and miserable for weeks and weeks today it’s warmer – both in a very real ‘the temperature has gone up’ sense and in an allegorical ‘I feel better inside’ sense.
It’s difficult to look at little green shoots of life peeping out from under brown leaves and not feel happy – and to see the return of spring is a blessed relief.
The parklands have been alive with little creatures this morning – and for them too life just goes on. They’re busy pulling worms out of the ground or munching on bits and bobs on the woodland floor.
So far this morning I’ve walked just under nine miles and my legs are flagging a little, but I’m not stopping until I get at least 15.
It’s only 10.30 and I’ve still got a metric ton of cheering up left to do.
I’ve stopped for coffee while my feet cool down – and I can feel the pleasant aching warmth of my thighs as they relax from the exercise.
A few years ago my reaction to moments such as the one I went through yesterday would have been very different – but today I see the wages of a better approach to dealing with problems.
I’m hangover free, there are no fast food wrappers littering the kitchen work surface and I’m still in control of my own destiny.
The past may inform who I am and it’s the foundation upon which I’m built – but it doesn’t define me.
I’m not trapped by it. I’m gifted with the perspective it affords me – and for every negative aspect of my childhood there’s also a corresponding sense of satisfaction that if I haven’t already overcome an issue related to it then I’m actively working towards it.
If you’re having a shitty day internet then put your coat and shoes on and get up. Open your front door, walk through it and just stroll.
There doesn’t have to be a purpose. Do it because it’s pleasurable. Do it because it will change your point of view. Do it because the world’s beautiful.
Do it because life’s a gift and it shouldn’t be wasted on regrets.