a walk in the park?

Joyfully Aging means that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  So, today, with my crazy feet (neuropathy, hammertoe, corn), and my bad back (bulging disc, sciatica, hip bursitis) I went for a walk.  Got new tennies, size 11 with the wide “toe bed”, didn’t know what that meant until I needed one, and a new item from the Dr. Scholl’s aisle.  It’s called the Tri Comfort Insole and nobody is paying me to talk about it.  So far so good!  I was also sporting my latest gadget for my hammertoe, the Gel Hammertoe Crutch and no, they are not paying me either.  This handy dandy device basically props up the toe that wants to grip without me telling it too.  Bad toe!!

Back to the walk.  Walking is now an exercise in mindfulness.  All this foot pain is God’s way of getting me to be more mindful. 

Mindfulness:  the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

And let me tell you, I am aware, very aware that I am walking.  It takes all my concentration to keep my balance, tuck my tail under and tighten my core, all while trying to maintain to the world that I am simply out for a stroll.  Of course, there is no foot traffic on my street, so unless my neighbors were all staring out their windows and snickering at me, I was the only one who was looking at me.  So self-centered! 

The lemonade part is that by walking more slowly, pretending to be looking at the yards, I saw things.  Flowers, a beautiful view, a couple of lizards.  I also experienced things, the sounds of bees, the wind blowing, the distant sound of traffic, and a few dogs, making their owners aware of my presence. 

Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

This is what my pain management team has been trying to get me to do, also some friends who are into that stuff and some other folks who I am involved with regarding spiritual matters.  According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is “paying full conscious attention to whatever thoughts, feelings and emotions are flowing through your mind, body and breath without judging or criticizing them in any way.”  The article goes on to say that mindfulness is about “understanding how the mind works. To see how it unwittingly ties itself in knots to create anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion.”

See, before the “crisis of consciousness” that I talked about in an earlier post, I was anxious, stressed out, unhappy and exhausted.  I judged myself and everyone I came into contact with, and I was filled with negative thoughts about myself and the world.  I came home from work each night and ate food, plopped myself down on the couch with the lights off, and watched Netflix for a few hours, relocated to my bed and slept till the next morning when it was time to do it all over again. 

Today I was able to take a walk, experience nature, accept my various aches and pains for what they are, inconvenient, uncomfortable, and, it could be worse!  My life today is based in gratitude, helping others, being mindful of myself and of others.  Today I try and enjoy each minute.  I try to see positivity anywhere I can.  Today I turn away from negativity and negative people. 

Today I am committed to being mindful.  How about you? 

Commitment: the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

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