While searching for my ideal routine, I took a run/walk mid-morning last week. It was around 11:00 a.m. and the day could only be described as beautifully grey. Near our home there is a lake with a one-mile loop, it has quickly become one of my favorite spots to run, walk or read.
That morning I saw a swan and automatically stopped to take a picture. It instantly made me think of the Swan Princess, of Derek and Odette. It surprised me that I remembered the names, I then remembered that growing up I was obsessed with the movie and with the princess turning into a swan. I told myself, I really like swans and took a couple more pictures.
My mind flooded with random thoughts about swans, the phrase if you are a bird, I am bird; Ryan Gosling (not as Noah, but as Seb) and the name Derek. I also told myself, that I really like the name Derek; but that Derek Araujo sounded off, so it was not a name option for any future child.
I am not rambling. I have an actual point.
A sudden and very powerful thought kicked the swan, birds and all the names out of my mind. With this new thought, came another name: Guilt. I started thinking about the fact that I was standing taking pictures of swans at 11:00 a.m. on a Thursday. I felt guilty. It was the first time in a month, that the words: “I should be working” came to mind. It pains me to admit it, I even felt ridiculous.
Thankfully, I came to my senses, rather quickly. This also surprised me. I started telling myself, almost out loud: “No, you will not do this to yourself. You are to feel grateful, nothing else.”
Yes, grateful that I was standing outside on this beautiful day at 11:00 a.m. on a Thursday watching swans. Grateful that I am living in this lovely city and that our apartment is close to a lake.
Grateful that well-being means running around 8:00 a.m., writing between 9:00 to 3:00 and taking an afternoon walk. Grateful that Wednesdays, are now my days to explore libraries and write outside.
Grateful that after 15 years, I can (really) experiment with my routine. Grateful that I had time to read 3 books in a week, grateful that I have a solid financial plan for the next year and grateful for the little poem that was already creeping in my mind about swans, bikes and grey skies. I promise, I did not meant for the last sentence to rhyme.
Grateful for a new story and its main character, Derek. Grateful for contentment and inspiration. Grateful to have the time to admire a swan.
And grateful for you, for reading me.