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Chapter Three: Walking

We all knew it would come to this, didn’t we? Walking is the third tool recommended by Julia Cameron in The Writing Diet. When I stepped on the scale last night at TOPS I didn’t show a loss, but I didn’t show a gain, either, so I am still 2.25 pounds down from 2.25 weeks ago.  Ironically enough, our TOPS program was on beating saboteurs to our eating plans and our assignment was to write down what we eat this week and what we are feeling when we eat it.  So, there is no getting around it, I’ll be writing in my “morning pages” more than I have. I’ve been digging my heels in about doing so, and almost had myself convinced I am too busy to write everything down throughout the day. As one of my TOPS members said last night, “If you have time to eat it, you have time to write it down.”

My sister Pat and I walk regularly, but on days like today (raining), or when she is gone on vacation, I don’t walk alone.  My friend Mary does, and I envy her commitment. When I started walking I waited for it to kick in, the “it” being that elusive feeling of needing and wanting that daily exercise.  Mary has whatever it is; she even walked through her cancer treatment.  I’m still waiting for that feeling. When I don’t walk, I feel guilty, yes, but I’d just as soon spend that extra hour writing, and I secretly (tho not so secret now) am relieved when it is raining and I enjoy the bonus 50 minutes of writing. (This morning I completed revisions on an essay for an anthology) This might be due to the fact that my children are sleeping when I walk and as writers we all know what we want to be doing if we are awake when our children are asleep.  I imagine it would be different if I had the whole day in front of me and could write whenever I wanted to. Then a quick walk in the morning would seem a great way to jump-start the day.  What I miss more than anything when Pat and I don’t walk, is the talking. If I haven’t seen Pat for several days, I am chomping at the bit to talk to her. And now I won’t see her until Monday.

A form of exercise I do enjoy, that I need to do more of, is biking. Last summer I got in the habit of taking a long, and fast bike ride alone after my husband got home from work. It was a great way to clear my head and I noticed my creativity increased with that brief period of quiet. I need to start doing that again.

An interesting side effect of writing in my morning pages every morning: one of the things that I’ve jotted down as bothering me has been my messy house. Yesterday I spent a good two hours sorting through things in my kitchen to sell at my next garage sale and in the process, neatened up some areas that were bothering me.  I’m looking forward to tackling another area of the house today.


Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

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