Just another manic - I mean mindful - Monday
Last updated 11/16/2022 at 5:23pm | View PDF
Monday mornings can be tough. This past one, I lost my credit card before I even got in the shower.
I had planned to combine my morning walk with a quick errand to pick up some cold medicine for my daughter. So I put my credit card in my pocket with my earbuds and headed out.
To get a full 2 miles in, I headed in the opposite direction of the store for the first half of my walk. By the time I had circled back to my house, I decided to give up on the rest of my walk and just drive to the store. That’s when I discovered my missing card.
After a few minutes of panic and a frenzied search of the countertops, my wallet and my pockets (multiple times), I realized I had only one option: Re-trace my steps to see if I could find my card — before any kids who soon would be walking to school might decide to pick it up.
I headed back out. I expected to find it on the block where I pulled out my gloves. Not there. I tried to remember where I blew my nose, thinking it might have fallen out when I grabbed a tissue. No luck.
So I kept walking, trying to conduct a thorough visual search while keeping up a reasonable pace so I could still get to work on time. I walked up to the busy street, turned left and then headed back through the park, all the while wondering how far my card possibly could have flown when it left my pocket. Should I be looking over more than just a few inches of grass on either side of the pavement?
I was about four blocks from my house (for the second time), convinced my efforts had been in vain, when I saw it lying right in the middle of the sidewalk, signature side up. Pulling out my earbuds had dislodged it from my pocket.
I was relieved, but also a little annoyed.
I tried to focus on the fact that my search allowed me to double my steps and gave me more time to listen to my 10 Percent Happier podcast on “The Art and Science of Keeping Your Sh*t Together.”
Yes, I recognize the irony. Even more ironic is the reason I didn’t have my earbuds in at the start of the walk. I’ve been trying to use the first mile as a walking meditation, paying attention to my breath and the feel of my shoe hitting the sidewalk, to the sounds of birds chirping and the smell of fall leaves.
I’ve had mixed success. I find I am more mindful when I speed up into a slow jog. It’s easier to concentrate on your breath when you feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen and on your body when you feel all your organs sloshing around inside you. It’s when I’m walking — even at a brisk pace — that my mind starts wandering into the future, worrying, planning, worrying, planning.
Did I make it to work on time? I did, but only because I ended up working from the dining room table. In addition to cold medicine, my daughter needed a day home from school (two, actually) to feel better.
Will I continue with my mindful walking meditations despite what happened? I will. But the next time my daughter needs cold medicine, her dad’s on duty.
— Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].