Shake things up a bit in 2009


Marie, Judy and I’ll be among competitors in Music City Half Marathon in April.

I hope your New Year is clipping along smoothly so far.

I dutifully had my peas and cabbage, and already experienced a bout of good luck. My Sirius radio has been broken since my trip to Nashville, but my son fixed it today simply by inserting a new, old fuse he had laying around. Martha Stewart’s baaaack on my air waves and I can enjoy my trip to Birmingham tomorrow.

I’ve just got a good feeling about 09. I was thinking about some things I’d like to add to my life – not resolutions, mind you. Just ideas on how to jump the rut I’ve been traveling in.

I’ve decided to do one thing each month that I’ve never done before. That will make twelve new experiences in the coming year. They don’t have to be earth shattering or particularly exciting – just new to me. This month has already been taken care of. My friends Marie and Judy and I are running (well, I’ll be more like limping along) in the Music City Half Marathon on April 25. That means we must start training this month. I haven’t trained for anything since my mother took away my training cup.

I downloaded a plan which requires sixteen weeks of an incrementally stepped up walking/running program to be ready for the 13.1 race. Can you believe it! Tomorrow marks exactly 16 weeks to April 25. If anyone else wants to try it with us, I’ll tell you how to find the training program. It’s pretty simple and involves walking four of five days a week with an extra long walk one day a week. I note by February that long walk is 10 miles.

Second, I’m going to try having a real conversation from time to time.

So much of our everyday activities are driven by things outside of our perceived control — going to school, work, or taking care of business. We seem to be pawns in a life not of our own making sometimes.

One way to regain a little sense of control is to stop and have a real conversation with someone about something meaningful. Not every day. Not every conversation. Maybe just once a week, with a friend or family member. We’ll talk about something important, something meaningful.

That leads to plan three. I’m going to listen more carefully during those meaningful conversations. I find that I talk way too much and often interrupt my fellow converser.

We all think we listen when others talk to us, and most of the time, we do. But in this fast-paced, multitasking world, we often don’t really listen when someone speaks to us. The closer the person is to us, the more we often don’t really listen to what they’re saying.

Okay, so what can I do in February? I’m thinking of taking a course in knitting.

2 thoughts on “Shake things up a bit in 2009

  1. Emily,

    Don’t think I can learn to play oboe in one month, do you? I’ve recently fallen in love with that instrument. Maybe I could just learn the notes from the Sugar Plum Fairy oboe part, and let it go at that! Ha!

    Hey, perhaps instead, one of those little wooden flute-like things with the holes on top like kids play — more my speed. Could get a yuke, but that wouldn’t be totally new to me, and it should be something completely new, I think.

    Have you ever thought about finding someone who looks lonely in a coffee shop somewhere, and engaging them in meaningful conversation? It’s not without risk, so be judicious, but it’s a good way to practice being attentive — no baggage to contend with. Besides, you can make someone’s day that way!

    One of these days I’m going to learn to use one of those radios that requires a license — the one that’s like a walkie-talkie, only it’s on a different frequency, and it can be used over a longer distance than the walkie talkie. I actually think I could prepare myself from the book that one has to study to prepare for the test all in the month prior to taking the test for the license. I once bought a book to study for the simpler radio test, but couldn’t really get started on it. I may actually need a newer version as these tests have to be updated periodically, but don’t think very much.

    In the study books, one can learn about radios of different frequencies, and if it really floats your boat, study for a more advanced radio, even up to the level of a ham radio operator’s license. I think that we really need to keep the ham radio operation going, even in the day of e-mail and the internet, because they can serve as such great sources of communication in the event of a major catastrophy. Besides, they can be alot of fun! They even have clubs that you can join for socialization as well as public service when/if needed.

    I really need to take up this once-a-month habit with you. It’s a really great idea!

    I admire your taking on such a long race — that would be…ah hum…thirteen miles, am I correct on that? Have you studied what sort of footwear you should have to protect your feet? I have a hard time doing long walking due to my feet being a bit narrow — the shoes slip around, rubbing blisters, etc.

    Also, did you know that there are walking clubs all over that you can join to have people to walk with, and you get a pin for walking in some of the events. Some of them aren’t too long at all, but they help to keep you in shape during the year. I always say, “If it doesn’t kill you, it might be good for you!” Running and high impact exercise and lifting weights is supposed to be best for osteoporosis, but if I fall while running, my osteoporosis may cause me to break every bone in my body — what a

    Anyway, if this is something that you want to keep up all the time, only in moderation, these clubs are great motivators. I’m going to see if I can find one in your area on the internet.

    Keep coming up with new things to try that are healthy. I need to keep my brain functioning, particularly with learning things that provide more physical exercise and activity.

    By the way, has anyone seen the fund raiser on PBS in which Dr. Amen talks about the Brain? It is very interesting.


  2. Ahhhh, google American Volkssport Association walking clubs. I found that there’s only a group listed for Biloxi, but the website has a link to starting a club in your area right on the front page of the site. Also, you might be able hold a walk for some of the other clubs around your general area to come and walk — the scenary and new friends are a great part of it. You can even go on trips to some great places to visit if you want to — combine a vacation with a beautiful walk for exercise.


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