Gratitude, Life, Misc.

A peaceful walk destination & Gratitude Challenge Days 8 and 9

Friday night there was a high school swim meet being held at our local high school, so Asher’s club team had to go practice in another city ~20 minutes away to find pool time. I drove him out there for 5 pm practice, and since it was farther from home, I had to just stay and wait. Instead of just sitting in my car the whole time, I decided to go for a walk.

The weather was very cold here last week, with temps in single digits and windchills below zero. So, it wasn’t the greatest week to start off a new year of walking. I did walk indoors a couple times (track once, treadmill once), but the roads have been ice covered and it’s just been COLD.

But I was feeling annoyed with not getting outside, because, as they say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” So, I took the bull by the horns and decided to walk during his practice.

It was 5 pm (dusk around here). The town is very small and quiet and a pretty peaceful little place. I decided to bundle up and walk down to the cemetery and back. I had lots of flashbacks to the earlier days of the pandemic, because when our high school was shut down for almost a whole year, his team practiced almost exclusively out at this other school. I walked this route a lot back in the summer/ fall of 2020.

I wore my longest coat, boots, hat, scarf and then added my mask. (The mask was 100% for “face protection from the cold” and 0% to protect me from covid, because I was walking on a completely deserted street. It really made a huge difference in keeping my face warm!)

I love this little old cemetery. I’ve shared pictures of it in the past, from the summertime. It was so beautiful on this winter evening:

It was really, really cold out. My phone said something like 4 degrees, with windchills of -4 F. I was literally shivering for the first 15 minutes or so. But then….I kind of warmed up! Or got used to it. I don’t know. But I felt okay! And it was such a peaceful time. I didn’t listen to music or a podcast or anything, just walked along in silence listening to the crunch of the snow underfoot. (By the last 5-10 minutes, my toes started to go numb, so then I started worrying if I was getting frost bite or something?! hahaha.) I sped up a little and was happy to make it back to my van and BLAST the heat, but I’m glad I took my little winter walk. 🙂

The lit up snowflakes were still up and made me happy.

And now, a little catch up on my Gratitude Challenge from yesterday, Day 8. (No post yesterday due to an early basketball game (Ethan) and then off to a swim meet (Asher). But I did look at the prompt and jotted down my answer in my phone, so I “completed” the challenge on time.)

Gratitude Challenge Day 8:

Name 3 activities you enjoy most, and why.

This was also a tough one! Some of these prompts are quite thought provoking. I narrowed it down based on my “gut” reaction, though.

1- Spending time alone puttering around with personal stuff.

This sounds weird; let me explain. What I mean is that I really enjoy time to just sit and do various personal tasks, like updating my planner, journaling, filling out my habit tracker, etc. I’d also add in there blogging, reading, reading/ commenting on blog posts, or even personal admin tasks like organizing my email inbox, making to do lists, etc. Ideally I like to do this at my desk with tea, or I also greatly enjoy doing this type of thing out at a restaurant/ coffee shop too.

2- Playing the piano

I really love to do this. I don’t do it often enough, either. But if I’m stressed out, this is the BEST release for me. I feel like music and piano has taken on a much more “emotional” side for me, now that I’m older, compared to when I was 16. I FEEL the music so much more now. Maybe it’s greater life experience? But I feel like I can pour myself into the music more now.

3- Eating out with my family

Not “just” eating with my family- I specifically really enjoy eating out at restaurants. With the kids, with Ivan and/or with my parents. It’s not even about the food itself. I (we) just really enjoy the experience of sitting and talking, relaxing, eating/drinking, lingering, the atmosphere of a restaurant…and no need to lift a finger to prep anything or clean up. I know it’s not for everyone, but we just really enjoy it. (Which is probably why we eat out too much 😂)

Gratitude Challenge Day 9:

What made you smile today?

The day is young here, so I’ll go with what made me smile yesterday. Probably a bunch of things, but the first one that popped into my mind: Watching on of those nature shows on TV during breakfast with Asher, and they had close up videos of wild animals. There was this…I don’t even know what it was! Kind of looked like a ferret. But he had the CUTEST little face!!! And watching him scamper around was just so adorable. I stopped and watched and smiled and said, “AWWWW Asher, look at him!!” 🙂

6 thoughts on “A peaceful walk destination & Gratitude Challenge Days 8 and 9”

  1. Spending time alone puttering around with personal stuff. This is one of my favourite things to do…ever.
    I love decluttering, too (which sort of fits in to this same category). I like putting things away, straightening towels in the bathroom that sort of thing. I feel like I can go into autopilot and can think about other things OR get into a state of flow and really just focus on the physical sensation of putting things away and organizing stuff. I don’t realize how much this calms me down until I feel crummy…reorganize my sock drawer…and feel so much better. It doesn’t fix everything, but it is a great start.


  2. walking on cold weather is something that it’s daunting before going out, challenging while during it, and glad you did it when you are done. 🙂 I miss running in cold weather so much.
    I share your #1 things you love to do. i enjoy so much slow mornings that i can go through all my favorite routines.


  3. I LOVE wearing a mask to keep my face warm – much more effective than scarves and whatever other workarounds I’ve tried to use in the past! I’m jealous that 5pm is dusk where you are – it’s absolutely pitch black here by 4:30pm, which makes me think the day is entirely over by the time work is over.


  4. Ahh puttering around with personal stuff is something I love, too. I am doing something called “The January Cure” which is put on by Apartment Therapy. They send you nearly-daily prompts. It’s all about getting your house organized for the new year. I won’t do all of the prompts but I tackled a bunch of drawer/cupboard organization on Sunday and it felt SO GOOD! It’s one of those things I don’t always feel motivated to do, but then once I start, it’s tough to stop and the satisfaction of seeing things more organized is so worth it!

    Good for you for going for a walk despite the cold temps. It’s been bitterly cold here, too, so I have not been outside much. It looks like it will improve this week, though. Last year I was on mat leave at this time and I went for a walk almost every day except in Feb when we had a super cold 8-10 day stretch. As long as it was 15 or warmer, I’d put Will in the carrier and head out. He was a great little heater and was always toasty warm when we got back!


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