We are in the final mile of our walk and trying to avoid the mud puddles created by a recent rain and the construction work being done along the side of the road. Benny rounds the corner on his bike. This is not his real name. We make up names for the regulars on our walk, so we can make quick reference. Ah, that appears to be Benny emerging from the pre-dawn morn.
I wonder, Where is his wife. Sleeping in today? Usually they walk together and quite slowly. They appear to be in their mid to late seventies. They aren’t the most consistent of walkers, but they do get out quite a bit and always together. My mind runs a bit wild now that I see Benny on his bike minus his wife.
What if she’s hurt? sick? Well, he’s a bastard for being out here without her.
He’s always so chipper, and she looks rather grumpy. Maybe he got tired of her.
Perhaps he’s entering The Tour de France. I can tell he’s definitely NOT on steroids. No medals will be stripped from his collection.
I look over at CJ who appears to be thinking of nothing but perhaps the trees, sky, and squirrels. Just as I begin my self-flagellation, Boy, stop thinking about stuff that probably isn’t true, Benny circles around on his bike and rides alongside us.
Good morning! You’re riding today!
He offers further explanation. Yeah, I am riding this around while my wife gets dressed to walk.
We part ways with smiles and waves, and the next half mile is filled with Holy shits and Wows for Benny. This guy is kicking ass. I had thoughts of following him home to see if he has a pool. Maybe he’s in training for a triathlon.
As a recovering perfectionist, self-doubter, and rather anxious person, I have to make sure to monitor my thoughts to ensure they are fuel for improvements and not useless admonishments. Instead of focusing on what I am not doing, I can reexamine what I am doing, my priorities, and see if they need some adjustment – some tweaking, if you will.
Once upon a time, I was in denial. We’re ok, right CJ? This justification for my actions stemmed from insecurities within myself. If I admitted that someone else was doing it better, where did that leave me? Convincing myself I’m okay. You’re ok. We’re ok. was counterproductive, and I wasted years mired in inaction.
Now, I reflect on my interactions – each and every one. How can I make the most of my time like Benny? Life is short. I’m not sure yet how or if this interaction will affect my actions, but I do know that two weeks later I am still thinking about it.
And you, Jolly reader?
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