Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Walking around the block

There can be something very cathartic in a walk around the block.
My father used to tell us this all the time. Every problem could be solved by walking around the block.
Every burden could become lighter; every fear could be diminished by just taking that walk.
Even in the best-selling book The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (the story of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway's first wife), Hadley uses the walk around the block technique to clear her head. "... the way I used to painfully fixated on it disturbed me so much I had to walk twice around the block in a stinging wind before I was calm enough to return..." (pg. 39, The Paris Wife, Ballentine Books NY, 2011)

My mother, Elsa, had a different opinion. She taught that everything could be solved by sleeping on it. A problem at work? Sleep on it before pouncing on it. A huge request by a friend or family member that is out of your norm? Sleep on it before promising anything, denying anything, arguing anything. This, too, is very sage advice.
I often found I couldn't sleep on something without first taking a walk around the block. How can your sleep when your mind is struggling to resolve something? At least take that walk to put your mind in order, then sleep on it. 
My next home must be like this one - long blocks, lots of walking/thinking/struggling room. I need a good walk before sleeping. 
Do you?

9 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

I do my best thinking while walking also. It's so hilly here that I think what is really happening is that I'm getting unstressed...

Stella said...

Your blog temperature says 108 degrees! I am not sure I could make it around my block in that kind of heat!

You deserve a medal for tromping along it that kind of weather! Do your dogs do that walk with you?

Kisses,
Stella

Thérèse said...

Definitively but mines happens in the morning to filter my thoughts and clear up my mind...
A neighborhood I would definitively love to walk through...

Kathy said...

Should we contact Stella and tell her that the forecasr temperature for Saturday is up to 119 in certain parts of the Phoenix area?

I'm wondering where this block is that illustrates your post.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Kathy, Stella/Jo, I think these photos are Davenport, Iowa. Or maybe Green Bay?
Morning walks are about the only ones we can fit in this time of year, as Therese points out! EARLY morning, at that...
115 here yesterday. And believe it or not, rain and wind at 5 p.m. Know what a sauna feels like???? this was worse. And dang, it didn't even cool off afterward. Not walking weather...

Sandra said...

sleeping on any decision is what i do. i look at a camera and walk out and sleep on it, and i have done that all my life and have avoided a lot of things i thought i wanted. i like walking around the block but have never done it to clear my head, but it sounds like a great idea. i used to clear my head by crying, but since i got OLD crying hurts my eyes so i don't do that anymore. I like the great big house right on the corner that might fall off in the street. i love houses like these

Elaine said...

I think walking around the block befor bed woould just rev my engines up and keep me from sleeping. I often have trouble going to sleep because my mind is working overtime, but it's not trying to resolve anything, just random stuff rattling around.

Banjo52 said...

That's a nice looking neighborhood. I don't walk much after about 8 pm--Dave Letterman's monologue usually puts me to sleep if I'm still awake that late.

Diane AZ said...

What a lovely neighborhood! I like to walk to sort out my thoughts and sleep before making major decisions.