In early March, I was finalizing a blog post when I looked at the clock: 10:50PM. Two weeks before, I had started being IN bed by 11PM Sunday through Thursday. What was I going to do? I was hoping to post that night (a weekly commitment since July), but wasn’t quite ready. It was the clash of the habits. I went to bed.
With my simpler living semi-retirement in mind, I am making my health even more of a priority than usual. My bedtime was inconsistent and I noticed that 6-7 hours of sleep was no longer enough. Without the 11PM cutoff, it’s too easy for me to think, like a child: just a few more minutes (that turn into an hour or more).
Another habit is to walk every day. I’ve been disciplined for many years in walking 3-4 times/week, but I was ready to improve: instead of fitting in two longer walks on the weekend, I decided the goal could be 30 minutes every day. I borrowed this from my meditation practice: it’s more beneficial for me if I meditate for even a short session every day rather than just make time on the weekend to sit on the cushion. As expected, the more days I meet the commitment, the easier to keep going: I’ve walked every day this year (77 days in a row).
Last October, I started to commute to work by bus rather than drive. I was planning to walk home from work when it warmed up a bit, but I actually started in early February. It was 4PM on a Friday and I suddenly realized I’d missed my noon-time walk. Shit! I knew I wouldn’t want to go out again once I got home (I had a date with Netflix), so the solution was: walk home. I discovered it took only ~50 minutes and, since then, I’ve been walking home from work most days.
Depending on timing and the weather, I get to stop to enjoy the sunset, view Mount Rainier, watch ducks, or smell flowering trees. There’s a gradual work decompression by the time I get home. One observation from walking in rush-hour traffic: we drivers are assholes!
Up next: fitting in yoga more than once/week. These are all old habits to me that I’m restarting or tweaking in my focus on What Is Important and my goal of a 2-hour work day in semi-retirement—there’s nothing new here. And it hasn’t been the tug of war that I was expecting … yet. If something’s gotta give, the only thing’s that given so far is over-work (not work) and over-internetting. Frequently weighed down with a day’s groceries in my backpack, I am happy to walk home feeling like my previous non-driving eccentric self. But I’m not avoiding driving, I’m just choosing to slow down and … walk.