A Year of Gifts
How long would it take you to walk across India? For me, it took about a year.
Funny thing is, I never even left the United States. Actually, since it was 2020, I barely left my neighborhood. Make that two neighborhoods.
I’ve written about my daily walking habit before, and I promise not to talk about it in every blog post, but my unexpected India badge gave me an idea.
Like so many of us, I had to scrap travel plans last year because of the pandemic. A trip to see our daughter in March, a writers’ conference in Nashville in May, and another conference in Las Vegas in November: all canceled.
Instead, I spent 95% of my time either at home or at our lake cabin. Lots of working, lots of writing, and too much Netflix made up the bulk of my year. I bet you can relate. To keep my sanity, and a promise to myself, I also walked.
I don’t even want to do the math on how many times this means I circled our neighborhood because it would probably make me dizzy (we considered investing in a treadmill but I fear it would soon become an expensive clothes hanger). At least there was a change of scenery and some hills when I walked at the lake. But this still only meant two main paths.
My obsession to hit a minimum of 10,000 steps every single day gave me lots of positive benefits, but it didn’t take me very far from my house. This gets me back to my idea (see, after walking the same route for months on end, I’m even kind of going in circles here 😊).
If I had planned to walk instead of fly to Nashville or Las Vegas, would the culmination of my daily step count have gotten me there and back in a year? Thanks to easy-to-use map apps on my phone, it wasn’t a hard question to answer.
It turns out my daily walks added up to enough miles to not only get me all the way to Vegas, I could have tossed a few coins in a slot machine, turned around, and walked back as far as Rapid City, South Dakota. I could be visiting Mount Rushmore right now!
It’s been years since we last visited this national treasure, but the realization prompted me to dig for pictures from our one and only vacation there with the kids. True confessions: I couldn’t find those exact photographs, but it was still fun to thumb my way through a few boxes of fun memories. I really need to get all my pictures organized!
While I missed out on a fun week of learning from amazing authors in Vegas, I enjoyed this trip down memory lane today.
What about Nashville?
Turns out I could have made it all the way there, visited the Grand Ole Opry (maybe they were closed down like so many other things, but since we are just pretending here…), turned around, and made it back as far as Minneapolis.
Visiting Nashville is still on my bucket list, but I’ve made plenty of shopping excursions to Minneapolis with family and friends. I could be shopping at the Mall of America right now, or perusing one of the outlet malls. While I don’t like to shop as much as I used to, I am going through withdrawals these days and look forward to getting back there in the not-too-distant future.
Some shopping is in order, as is some time away with friends. My yoga pants and sweatshirts are getting worn out from over use! Dress clothes I bought in Arizona in February 2020 still have tags on them since comfy clothes have been my “go to” while working from home for the past year.
It’s fun to think back on so many weekend trips, and it makes me realize how much I miss those get-a-ways. I know there will be more fun in the future!
Last year didn’t turn out like any of us hoped, but there were undoubtedly lessons learned and unexpected blessings. I’m so grateful I kept up my walking routine. When I started at the beginning of 2020, I had little hope of sticking with it. But habits can be engrained if we give them enough time—one day at a time.
Walking in circles for nearly a year also makes me think how this can happen in other areas of our lives, too. If we keep doing the same thing and thinking the same thoughts, day after day, we don’t get very far! Heck, we might not even get out of our own neighborhoods.
Just look how much of this big beautiful country my feet would have taken me to if I’d have broken out of the pattern and followed different paths. This is all metaphorical, I have no desire to walk across the U.S., but it really makes me think about how impactful our daily habits and our thought patterns are on the way we live our lives.
I walked in circles in 2020 to stay healthy (and not gain thirty extra pounds eating popcorn and watching too much television) because the world shut down. Hopefully, we can see continued progress in the months ahead, and start traveling again.
But regardless, my walking paths have served as a powerful reminder to do what we can to avoid getting stuck in a rut. I’ve heard it said that if a ship veers off course by as little as two degrees, it can end up somewhere else entirely at the end of the journey! I believe the same is true for us. Tweaking small things in our daily routine can take our lives in totally different directions.
If you want to head in a different direction in some part of your own life, shift by two degrees and see where your feet can take you!
Walking this journey alongside you, Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!