Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness in Writing – Day 3: Morning Walks

It’s easy to focus on the negative in the world around us. In observation of a month many dedicate to counting their blessings, I’ve started a 30-day challenge in which I’ll focus on one aspect of my writing life for which I am thankful. I’d love to have you join by sharing about something that has blessed your own writing life in the comments section below.

While at Youth Group last night one of the high school students shared with me that one of her family members was about to go in for a major operation. He has diabetes and has to have his second leg removed. It’s no surprise that I immediately started wiggling toes and trying to imagine what it would be like to be unable to walk on my own. It took all of a second for me to decide I would probably go insane. It’s hard enough having to constantly read labels to make sure I don’t accidentally poison myself with gluten.

I love going for walks. It’s a simple exercise that allows me to clear my mind, work through conflicts, process story ideas, and it’s amazing getting to see the scenery changing around me on a weekly basis. It also gives me a chance to spend time talking with the people I love without the distraction of texts, e-mail, or phone calls. (Our walks are technology-free zones so we can have 30 minutes to completely unplug.) As I write this I’m just starting to warm up from my trek through the local park. It was 40 degrees out and raining, but as long as I was moving I didn’t really seem to notice.

So today I’m thankful for the ability to exercise — to stretch my arms and legs, and flex my cold fingers and toes.

I’m thankful that I can see the flaming reds and yellows and oranges clinging to branches and covering the ground.

I’m thankful I can hear the geese and ducks arguing with each other while standing on a bridge watching from above.

I’m thankful for the heat I felt seeping through my coffee cup into my mitten-clad hands. For the rich taste that warmed me as I took each sip.

I’m even thankful I could smell that pile a careless dog walker “didn’t notice” their pet left in the middle of the pathway.

It’s so easy to take the little things for granted, but when I stopped to consider them this morning I realized how big an impact each one has on my life. I also realized that without these amazing yet simple abilities my job as a writer would be a much more challenging task.

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