Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Sunday of my weekend with a short to-do list, I went for a four-mile walk in the morning. On the outskirts of my neighborhood I turned left instead of going straight. Within half a block I was someplace else - fields behind houses, different dogs, new construction. At the end of three blocks I descended a long set of stairs into a McMansion neighborhood I never knew existed, though I have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years. I could have been in a different state. Then behind that subdivision was the back of the high school my son attended, then the street I've driven on five thousand times at least.

What if I'd gone straight on my neighborhood road? Or added items to my to-do list? "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood," I thought. Of course my experience was common - when I leave my routine I have the chance to be surprised.

Three miles into my walk my cellphone rang. An old friend, terminally ill, struggling with issues of resentment and forgiveness. Behind the fire station there was a little park where I couldn't hear the road noise. I sat at the picnic table and listened. I suspect some of my early retirement days will be spent with my friend in his final ones. I'm glad I'll have the open time and that I'm not afraid to do it.

After my walk I did some reading and took a nap. Oh, and four loads of laundry - the only remaining item on my to-do list.

I'd say my weekend experiment was a success.


Anonymous said...

that's why I call it "Walking the World" when I walk outside. It's the best way ever to explore your surroundings -- no matter where you are.

#1Nana said...

Hi Linda...I saw that you visited my blog and thought I would return the favor. Just last night I wrote on the same topic of what you find when you step outside of the routine. (http://benchmark60.blogspot.com/2010/03/lucky-numbers.html) That's been my journey since I retired...it's a whole new world! The best thing about retirement has been spending more time with my grandchildren. I wish you all the best as you prepare to retire. I signed up to follow your journey.

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a gift for your friend, to have time with you to sort out life as he faces such a challenging time.