Single Track

I can still hear crying when I lock the door behind me, but M shoos me on. I can actually "hear" it all the way down the street, but at that point it's actually just a noise stuck in my head. Once I turn down the first gravel path into the park, my head starts to clear a little. By the time I get to the single track turnoff, my shoulders have lost their tension and my arms are swinging freely. My breathing slows and deepens. After an hour or so of walking in the park, I feel recharged.

I spend a lot of time with my kids right now. This is not a bad thing, because I have fun with reading aloud and painting and playing with Legos. Poop, pee, vomit and blood do not phase me at all (loose teeth are another story). I have remarkable patience for answering the same question over and over again. I would say that 90% of the time I'm really enjoying myself as a stay-at-home-mom. But still, the twenty-four-hour-ness of the job can be taxing. Taking a break is key. I try to do different things....hang out with friends at a bar, go to the coffee shop to write, or take a yoga class. But none of those are as effective as an hour of walking on single track paths in the woods.

It's rained a bit the last week or so and the trails are very muddy and slick. I like the focus that is required to remain upright with each step. I like how my eyes adjust to the wall of green and brown surroundings and start to pick up all the variations in color and texture. I like how the city noises fade into the background and what I mostly hear are birds and squirrels.

When I get back home, M has generally succeeded in getting all the children into bed and will have a dish towel slung over his shoulder, while he cleans up the dinner dishes. Our evenings together are much more pleasant when I've been walking. My birthday is coming up this week and the best thing about getting older is figuring out what makes me feel good and not worrying about whether it's what I should be doing or getting. Frankly, a haircut causes me great anxiety and a pedicure would probably put me over the edge. Walking in the woods does the trick, though.

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