Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In search of an epiphany

I woke up out of sorts today. I have the day off and hadn't made any plans; I didn't feel like going out and being social, and even though I should have gone shopping for a few belated Christmas gifts for Jim's brother I just didn't feel like it. It has been snowing for two days straight, but this morning the sun was out, the sky was blue, and every twig on every limb on every tree was heavy with fresh, white snow. It is not often that I feel compelled to get out into the cold and enjoy a winter day, so when I am so inclined I act quickly before I get lazy and stay inside watching bad TV and surfing the internet.

Some of my best thinking has been done while walking outside. Some of my deepest thoughts have trickled into my consciousness slowly while I mindlessly move my limbs and propel myself forward. Today was the kind of day when I needed some kind of epiphany - it didn't have to be massive or life-altering, it just had to be meaningful.

I quickly threw together a play list on my iPod (appropriately titled "Moody Music") and off I went. The snow was beautiful and melting fast, so occasionally as I walked it would flutter down from the tree canopy and twinkle in the sunlight as it fell onto my face. It felt good, like being sprinkled with pixie dust or somehow anointed by nature, and it made me smile. I did miss having a dog at my side, but it felt good to move my body and I felt long disused muscles waking up. Some of those muscles were pretty pissed! My ass, for instance, was not loving it, but I ignored its protests and I told my creaky ankle to STFU as well. Soon enough they listened to me and I was able to concentrate on the crunch of snow under my boots, the sunlight and trees making patterns on unblemished fields of snow, and the quiet music in my ears.

What kind of New Englander would I be if I didn't summon Robert Frost on a walk such as this?

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When I came to the place where I would normally turn back towards home, I kept going. I decided to just keep walking until I felt sorted out, however long that took. Turns out it took about two hours.

I'm not sure exactly where or when my epiphany struck, but before long I realized that something in me had lifted. You see, lately I haven't been myself. I've been wallowing in emotion and stewing in discord. I've been allowing myself to experience my fears as if they are real. I've been thinking too much and laughing too little. In short, I've been taking myself entirely too seriously.

Not every thought deserves to be analyzed. Some thoughts don't even deserve the time it takes to think them. During the course of a given day we experience a plethora of feelings; some of them are worthwhile, but some are not. I need to work on enjoying the good and ignoring the bad.

As my thighs turned numb from the cold and my nose started to run, I also found myself grateful for my body again. I'm so glad that I can walk for hours and climb hills and be rewarded with a nice view! My body sure isn't perfect, what with its bum thyroid and propensity to gain weight if someone so much as says "Carbs" in my vicinity, but it has given me so much pleasure in my life! How could I not be grateful?

Therein lay the epiphany, you see. I think I had forgotten to simply be grateful. Life is hard - no doubt about it - but everything worth working for is hard. Wasting time worrying over who said what and what-ifs won't help me embrace that which is essential to my happiness: love & gratitude. Loving myself, loving others, loving where I live, and even loving my crap job, which enables me to take long walks on a Wednesday morning to reconnect with myself and what's important to me.

Maybe it was the elusive "runner's high" that the skinny folks talk about, but by the time I came home I was elated. I felt like jumping into the 4 ft. high snowbanks and making snow angels. I waved cheerily at cars as they passed me. I let myself in to my quiet house that smells like my cooking and hung my coat on the hook that is reserved for my things, and I felt a discernible click as everything fell back into place in my world. Nothing has changed except my attitude, and that has made all the difference.


Mary said...

snif* that was a lovely post and I'm wishing I were there :)

Elliott said...

I say 'right on'. I miss that feeling of being out in the quiet of new snow and feeling your extremities cool until you can't stand it anymore. Returning to a quiet house is just a bonus.

jennybean79 said...

Great post - I think today I'll go for one of those walks too.

Mala said...

Good for you Bev! It's a beautiful thing when all is righted in the world again.

I often get to the point when I start tying a noose... then I take a horseback ride and the slate o' crap is wiped clean again.
We all need those moments. Congrats on gettin' yours!

MtnMama said...

That kind of walk is my secret weapon against caving into the depression that has been lurking in my life lately.
Perspective shifts are often the missing ingredient in solving what ails us.

calicobebop said...

Awesome! A two hour walk in the snow is a beautiful way to come to an epiphany. Glad it worked out so well!

Bev said...

Mary - Thanks!

Elliott - Definitely. Of course, it took me 2 hrs to warm up, so it's a trade-off.

Jenny - Thanks, and enjoy your walk!

Mala - No noose talk! I mean it.

Mtn Mama - I thought of you while I wrote this. :)

Calico - thanks girl!

Anonymous said...

*sniff* is an understatement.

love you, bev.

Salt said...

This makes me wish I had snow and a Wednesday to myself. I'm feeling inspired to just get in my car and drive somewhere. That's what I've found works for clearing my head except that yours is much better exercise. :) I'm so glad that everything is clicked back into place!

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

That so describes my "funk" of late. It is raining here and now I feel like bundling up and walking. No iPod though...I loved your "moody music" playlist title. It is noticing the small things and the feeling of gratitude that have escaped me lately. I will tell my knee to STFU. I may make it only to the mailbox down the street but I'm sure my rear-end will protest nonetheless.

I sometimes think it is a carb induced funk...we don't mix well~!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and especially thank you for this post on a much needed attitude adjustment~!

PorkStar said...

This is one very inspiring post. A simple walk can definitely make the difference. I admire people like you who can let the positive attitude to invade you through nature and just let everything go. I have yet to re-learn that and definitely walk some more and practice that letting go thing.

Beautiful post Bevs.

Kate said...

Awww....a gentler, kinder Bev. I am so very glad that you had such a nice feeling.

I just turned on the air conditioner here in stupid, fucking Texas.

Brooklyn ML said...

I really loved this post, Bev. Gratitude is so key in this world. Thank you for the reminder. Love!

Bev said...

Anon - thank you! Love you too, A.

Salt - I hope you got some good alone time in today!

HHS - Great "meeting" you today! I'm glad you can relate to the post, but let's hope we both get past these funks sooner rather than later.

Porky - What, downtown NYC isn't relaxing? Hang in there buddy.

Kate - Ugh, I hate stupid fucking Texas FOR you. ((hugs))

Bev said...

Brooklyn - Thank you!! Love to you too. XOXO

Heidi Renée said...

I miss snow. Glad you found what you were looking for!

Senorita said...

Beautiful pictures, and this post reminded me of how badly I need a workout.

Frank Irwin said...

Yes, Bev, this did sound like something MtnMama would have written. Well done. (Seriously)

I also find that exercise (for me, an bike ride) lifts my mood. I just wish it would last longer.

Join the Gossip said...

Great post. You are so right, I love when you just feel happy for no reason!

I love these pictures so much =)

dogimo said...

Bev: what an inspirational idea. To go out looking for one. I love epiphanies! And yet, it's never even occurred to me to try to run outside and shake one down on me.

Yes. Of course! I mean, why on earth not? Isn't that what earth's for?

Thank you for the pointer. And for the point. Beautiful.

It was the snow that first made white beautiful, and the clouds first turn rose - pleased but shown up by what they had made.

Winter puts a new world on top of the old one.

Del-V said...

Never take yourself too seriously and always make time for fun. Nice pics too! It does look like a Robert Frost poem.

Anonymous said...


So happy you walk helped you out. Sometimes it is the little things that put everything back into perspective..


onebadmamajama said...

What a wonderful post! I can totally the funk and taking yourself too seriously part..not the epiphany part..yet.

I'm really glad you got sorted out:)

Lindsey Himmler said...

I'm in the middle of reading a biography of Louisa May Alcott. I'm struck by how often she "goes for a run" back in the mid 1800s. I'm convinced I'd be a better writer, person, and wife if I got up out of my chair more often!

Heather said...

I love looking at snow in pictures and on ski slopes. I don't really like looking at it on my front porch and in my driveway.

Melissa said...

I love so much about your writing and your blog thus far, but I have to tell you this was the post that pushed me over the edge and made me finally ask you for your hand in internet friendship. Heh. Thanks for writing this and sharing your epiphany about your attitude. And thanks also for making me choke up and think about what I need to be thinking about.

P.S. Celebrity gossip is my guilty pleasure. Lainey Gossip and Dlisted are my favorites. ;)