I recently started walking in my neighborhood. The first few times I felt a little like Forrest Gump. My legs kept moving and I just kept going. It would get dark or my ugly feet would start barking at me so I would turn and head home. Eventually I settled on a nice 5 mile route. I had been doing a home workout, but on the days I needed a little break I figured that a walk would do me good. A couple of the days it was incredibly hot but I felt great when I would get home. Physically awful, but mentally recharged.
I’m not out there to train for anything, not even attempting to jog. I have found that I just let my brain wonder to wherever it wants to go. Sometimes I think of which book I want to write, the true life “I’m a Dad and I have no idea what the hell I’m doing” story, or that fiction detective series I have been tossing around in my head for years. I will name the hero, picture his face, and the scar under his left eye from when his Dad hit him with a broken beer bottle back when he was 8 years young. I get completely lost in the story and before I know it my feet have led me back to my street.
I have headphones in, but I don’t think I am ever really listening to whatever song is playing. I just let my dumb brain take me where it wants to go. If I’m in a funny mood I’ll send a stupid self deprecating joke to my friends about whatever ridiculous outfit I decided to where on my stroll. Or, if I feel like being sad I just let that feeling wash over me to. I’m not scared to tear up, in fact, it’s a really freeing feeling. I don’t push it away like I might have before. I can feel it coming and I just let it happen. I think about a loss I have suffered and I just let it flow and usually I end up on a smile about some memory I might have forgotten or didn’t realize until that moment just how great of a moment it was.
If there is a Bruins game later I know I’ll be day dreaming about my Dad. The thought of hockey reminds me of all those times in the rink watching him play. I can smell the rink as I drift between a memory of my Dad being my Dad, or my Dad being an incredibly awesome Grandfather to my kids. I can’t decide what he is better at, being my Dad or being my kids Bapa, what an incredible luxury to have to decide between those two things.
I go super dark sometimes. I think about what my life would be without someone I love, or what their life would be like if I wasn’t here anymore. I even picture what I might say about someone if they passed, what stories would I tell? Not being scared to let those thoughts in. Then without even knowing it a great story or memory pops in and I end up smiling and laughing a bit.
I’ve had my uncle here painting rooms in my house for the last couple weeks. He drives down from New Hampshire and we get to spend a few minutes together throughout the day as I am working and driving the kids wherever they need to be. He’s always been my uncle, my favorite uncle, hopefully we all have them. He was my Godfather, which, in my family had nothing to do with faith. He was the guy who always made me feel like the coolest guy in the room. He moved many years ago to raise his family, but when we see each other I turn into that 12 year old boy dressed in my tuxedo ready to be a groomsman in his wedding, hanging on his every word. He is one of those people I often think about on my walks, so having him here is such a wonderful, soul filling experience.
What I’ve noticed on my adventures is that I’m always smiling walking back to my house, happy to be home, and happy to have had a few moments thinking about how lucky I am to live this life. Darkness is temporary, light is just around the corner. The light is beautiful, even if it’s just a flashlight right now, someday it will be the sun. I love this weird life I live.