Creating emotional space

 Some of you may remember that at the beginning of the first lockdown in March I started running with the aim of passing the time, getting fit and losing weight.  I'm not known for my commitment or staying power so no-one was more surprised than me when I managed to complete the nine week Couch to 5K programme and then carried on some more.  In fact I carried on for several months before an eye problem made me decide on a two week break from running and I walked instead.  I did start running again but after a few days my knee began to hurt and I decided that walking was the way to go.  For the past few months then I've been leaving the house at 7am and walking for an hour.  I walk the same route I used to run so I know the distance is 5K and I have to tell you I love that walk.  The first part of it takes me to the top of the lane heading east so most mornings I'm greeted with red sky and a glorious sun rise.  Some mornings there's been mist which has settled in the hollows so in front of me is that red sky and below me is the white of the mist and it's magical.  Of course there are mornings when it's been raining but I've tried very hard to forget those and it's the sunrises which stick in my mind.  The next thing I've noticed is that whatever sort of night I've had, whatever my head has been like when I've left the house, by the time I get back an hour later I feel amazing.  Sometimes on my travels I listen to the radio which gives me things to think about or laugh at, sometimes I listen to music which means I lose myself in another world but whatever is coming through my headphones gives me time to switch off from life in general and mine in particular. Finally, I've realised that getting out of the house for an hour first thing in the morning is the very best thing I can do for Ash.  Most mornings he wakes confused and anxious and sometimes the thought of having to get up and find his clothes increases his anxiety so that he really can't get his thoughts in order.  Now he knows I'm going out and most mornings he opts to stay in bed for a little while longer with the result that when I get back he's been able to take his time, find everything he needs and, hey presto, the anxiety and confusion have disappeared.  That decision then all those months ago to commit to a new way of living has paid dividends way past what I expected or even hoped for and we both benefit which is what I think they call a win:win situation.

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