Tuesday, June 12, 2012

4 o'clock Walk

They really aren't kidding when they tell you pregnancy hormones will get crazy - Austin's post was (unfortunately) right on: randomly I will just feel totally distraught and start whining and often weeping and not know what I want and become an absolute mess in seconds' time. It's true that the only thing that somewhat calms me down is stroking my husband's hair - normally I've flopped in bed by this point with Austin next to me trying to be soothing.  I just reach over and literally pet the top of his head until I fall asleep. Embarrassing.

But the other day I had a real meltdown, as in I wasn't falling apart for no reason (like usual). I looked in the mirror and it was the last straw - I felt humongous and unattractive and like I was never going to get my body back. It sounds like a vain and prideful meltdown but honestly I'm not worried about how others see me, especially Austin (because he always reminds me how beautiful he thinks I am and how pregnancy multiplies that by ten)...what is hard for me is feeling huge and not really being able to do anything about it.  I don't like not being in shape, I don't like stretch marks, etc etc and so I had a good ol' shower sob about it. 

I still felt lame a few hours later, but I was past the self-pity point and ready to be proactive.  Thus was born the 4 o' clock walk. Basically it's a walk that starts at 4 in the afternoon.  Here's what you need:

1) Headband
2) Hair piled on top of your head
3) The all-important supply of bobbies
4) Your favorite walking shoes
5) A killer playlist (and emergency dollars)
6) The neighborhood bike path

7) And a cold pitcher of water waiting when you get back

So every day since my meltdown I have been setting out with the above-mentioned necessities in place and choosing a path of my pleasing.  I walk one direction for about half an hour and then start finding my way back, never taking the same route. (What is the fun of exploring if you just turn around and retrace?) I've found these 4 o' clock walks to be quite therapeutic and heartening for a 33 weeks pregnant woman, and I imagine they will be just as nice when I am pushing a stroller in the fall. 

Today I walked to the library, picked up the second season of West Wing (...we need to dedicate a whole post to that show sometime - it's life changing), and when I set back out again I noticed an older lady sitting on a bench outside reading the book she had just checked out.  It made me smile - such a simple picture of happiness, but I was touched and decided that when I'm 68 I too will be spending my time reading on a bench in the sunshine. Another time I came upon a really pretty little stream and stood staring at the moving water for a little bit, enjoying another small moment.  It is amazing how much happier we can be if we set aside some quiet time every day, especially outdoors. Our church leaders have been telling us over and over again to slow down, and I am really starting to learn what that means and why it is so important to our well-being, even our sanity.

So, if you're feeling down, even if it isn't about getting more exercise, go for a walk.  It is nearly impossible to stay depressed after stepping outside for a while by yourself. (Even when you waddle and can't move very fast and forget to make room for the passing bikers who then scowl back at you until they see your baby bump.)

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