Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just Like Raindrops

It's such an automatic thing to get into my car and drive to the gym for yoga. I decided today that instead of driving I'd walk the two miles to the gym. Granted, it wasn't the best weather to go walking, but it felt surprisingly amazing to walk in the rain.

When I left my condo in the West Loop, the sky was an ominous gray and a faint drizzle kissed my face. About 10 minutes into my walk bound for my gym at Union Station, the rain began to fall in heavier, colder drops. I had no umbrella, no raincoat or hood, I had just my yoga mat strapped to my back, a bottle of water in my hand and my music. I have to say that walking in a rainstorm is one of my favorite things and it's so frustrating to realize how far removed I am from simple things like walking.

As a society we're so far removed from nearly everything; we drive when we can walk, we text when we could see each other, we believe in fad diets instead of routine exercise and healthier eating, and lastly, we use credit instead of cash. Needless to say we are a society dependent on instant gratifcation. When did this happen to us or rather, when did we create it for ourselves? Since when was it okay to rely on what is convenient and quicker as opposed to what's overall better for all of us?

Sure, we have schedules and commitments but who is to say that we can't wake up a little earlier in the morning to walk instead of rely on public transportation? Why do we spend hundreds of dollars on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and NutriSystem? Because everyone tells us it's okay.

You'll be hard pressed to find people who go back to the source, who manage to make life what they want doing what they wish without the influence of others. I'm not crazy and by all means I am not saying everyone who takes the bus is lazy, but I'm slowly starting to realize that every decision we make is truly ours. If we don't take advantage of it, everyone else will.

Having said that, I'm going to start walking from my condo to my downtown office which, according to google is 3 miles one way. Not only does it start my day with great cardio and fresh air, but it saves me money every time I don't take the bus. Why am I doing it? Because I can and because I want to. Yes, I have to sacrifice waking up a little earlier and maybe coming to work sweaty but that's my choice.

Walking in the rain today was so liberating, people looked at me like I was crazy and I laughed inside. All around me others were ducking under awnings waiting out the rain and there I was, yoga mat in tow, walking in the downpour. Fittingly enough, Basement Jaxx's "Raindrops" played on my iPhone as I walked and it was the most serene 4 minutes of my day -- not including yoga of course.

Walking allowed me to connect with me, to listen to my own thoughts and be with myself in these moments. When you drive you have to be aware of everything, what gear am I in, is that lady going to cross, is this parking? Ridiculous. More and more I'm wondering why I even bought my car, granted I was in the suburbs and well, needed it. But living in the city with everything within walking distance what the hell am I doing with a sizeable car payment and insurance? Hopefully I'll figure it out soon, I'll think about it on my walk to work this week and keep you guys posted.

Seriously though, get out a little. You'll be surprised at what even a 30 minute walk outdoors will do for you.

PS Is anyone in the market for a manual 2007 Scion tC?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear Gramps

April 22nd is here again and I wish I could say it's getting easier. I mean, in the general scope of things I'm okay really but ever since you passed a part of me left with you. In reflecting on how to add and remove people from my life, in losing you I've learned that sometimes the leaving can't be helped.

You should know that everyone is happy, healthy and our family is growing.

You should also know that I'm so in love Gramps, I wish you could meet him. Lolo Boy thinks he looks just like you back in the day. The way he takes care of me reminds me of how you cared for Grandma. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve him.

When we cleaned up the house a few weekends ago mom came across boxes upon boxes of my toys and onesies that you'd saved. I'm not sure why you saved it but I suppose you didn't need a reason, you were always like a father to me. Seeing my baby clothes carefully folded and packed ever so delicately meant a lot to me. Those are pieces of me that I can give to my kids, pieces that are so much more than pictures in an album. Thank you for saving them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Wonder Years

This past weekend my boyfriend and I were out to dinner with my sister and her husband. I'm not sure how the conversation turned to this topic, but my sister and I suddenly found ourselves talking about our childhood and how during boring summer breaks, we used to hold mock-beauty pageants with one another, actually we did mock-everything at this age -- school, news segments, etc.

This conversation then lead to the discussion of how I didn't meet my siblings until I was 7. True story.

It's one of those things where you think everyone who really knows you already knows this, but somewhere in between the whirlwind of the last 6 months, I'd omitted this tidbit from my boyfriend, unintentionally of course.

So, I know it's kind of weird and most certainly not the norm, but not meeting my siblings until that age is probably one my most favorite facts about myself. Needless to say, I was a nightmare. I didn't share because I grew up thinking I was an only child and I was quite spoiled. When three young siblings enter your life thus changing the balance (or imbalance, rather) that I once knew, I changed and I couldn't help it.

As an adult with full control of my balance, it's interesting to see how the addition of new people in your life can change you for the better. Additionally, it works just the same way when you remove people from it. In the mathematics breakdown that is your social and personal life, when will we ever produce the ideal remainder?