In retrospect, I should have posted this for Thankful Thursday. (Note to self: don’t forget that’s a blog series…)
I’ll probably talk more about this later, but another exciting thing about this year is that I’m participating in the Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute. We had our kick-off a couple weeks ago and the other day we had a conference call that addressed mission, vision and values – both personal and organizational.
To start off the conversation about what drives us, we listened to a few “This I Believe” audioclips from NPR. The second story is one I fell in love with: Time to Walk the Dog. I primarily loved it because it pointed out two truths for me. First, dog walking really isn’t walking. Most days my “walk” with Hurley is simply meandering for blocks on end so he can smell every yard and stare down any squirrel, rabbit and critter that falls within his eyesight (and that happens way more frequently than I’d like…). I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who experiences that.
But the other truth is that sometimes that’s the beauty of walking my dog. It forces me to stop. With just a simple walk, Hurley has the ability to bring me back down to Earth, if you will. I love how the author describes it:
Walking the dog makes me lighten up and pay attention, not to what’s in my own head but to the unexpected small delights of the actual world. The dog gets me out of the four walls—work, clock, computer, phone—and into the land of smells and colors and serendipities. He reminds me of everything I can’t control and don’t need to.
My walk with Hurley is one of the few times where I don’t have to do or be anything. In fact, there’s not really anything I can do when I’m away from those four walls. There no crisis to be solved (save for the occasional bee sting…), no one to call and nothing to google. It’s one of those times when you realize you’re not carrying the weight of the world, that it’s going to keep on spinning regardless of what I do.
This has been particularly true with our new walking spot. Tired of walking the same 2-mile route in my neighborhood (plus someone’s allergies prevent him from getting to go to the dog park as frequently…), I decided to walk around Holmes Lake with Hurley. I can’t get enough of this place. Most days there aren’t too many people on the trail and you can only hear the wind and the water when you’re on certain portions of the path. Especially now that the leaves are changing colors, it’s gorgeous.
Granted, my perspective on dog walking may change once winter rears it’s ugly head. For the time being, though, it’s been a good way to regroup and get away from the daily grind of email, phone calls and google searches. Plus I’ve got fantastic company.
Like I said, it should have been a Thankful Thursday post…