I’ve been taking nearly 10,000 steps a day for 30 years. At age 18 I began taking a walk every day. It was for my mental health. I preferred the outdoors to a lifetime dose of anti-depressant.
Occasionally I miss a day. But my average is better than 6/7 days, probably more like 13/14.
In 30 years that means I’ve walked 10,230 days and taken nearly 102,300,000 steps. Criminy. It wasn’t even a goal I set out to accomplish. I was living 1 day at a time before I knew there was such a thing. (This experiment also shows me what an enormous number 1 billion is. Sheesh)
I never could set out to take a million steps, let alone 100 million. If I, as a young girl had said, “I’m going to walk for 10,000 days in a row,” I’d have been overwhelmed. I don’t actually think I could have done it. For me, it’s best not to know the whole picture. It’s best to know what I can do today, this week and maybe (truly only maybe) this year.
If, however, the way we do one thing is the way we do all things, I have learned from my daily walks far more than putting one foot in front of another. I have learned that the only way I will ever do the big things in my life is little by little. Incrementally. Probably won’t look like much for a long, long time.
And I’m not even close to a patient person.
Perhaps I am more persistent than I realized. Or is it that I am stubborn? Shadow and light of the same quality.
- Put my husband through 10 years of schooling while we had little kids (who turned out to be not so little by the time he finished.)
- Make a gorgeous quilt for my daughter.
- Learn to pop the most unimpressive wheelie you’ve ever seen. But my son did tell me I got my wheel off the ground.
- Write. Write a book. Write the curriculum for classes I teach. Write to help myself. Write letters. Write to solve problems. Writing has been the 10,000 daily steps for my brain.
- Raise 2 children and become someone new in the process. That person I became: maiden-turned-mother is a whole lot more than merely someone who makes meals and helps with carpools.
Here’s my list for this year:
- Paint several rooms in the house (so far it’s taking me 2 weeks to paint a small bathroom! I’m serious about small bites!)
- Going through 30ish boxes that have been lurking about in my garage.
- Redoing the pantry. (It’s always been neat thanks to my daughter. Now I just want it to be stylish. I love pantries and I remembered that this year. They are one of my happy places.)
- Rock garden. (This one feels heavier in the sense that it is overwhelming me. Which tells me I still need to break it down into bite sized pieces. Or maybe I don’t really want to do it, but somehow think I should want to want it. I’ll let you know how it goes.)