I have taken up a new hobby. Well, it is not entirely new, and it is more a habit than a hobby.
In the past, during the winter, I would do my "hamster run". That involved walking around the house in circles for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Later, last summer, I purchased an old treadmill, and used that to watch television while I was walking. The problem with all this was that it was boring, horrifyingly boring. Boring activities tend to be avoided at first, and eventually dropped altogether. This says more about my attention span and television, than it does about walking.
Now I have configured Marjory, the computer, to alert me every 30 minutes. Then she goes to sleep for 5 minutes while I walk around in circles. I find this routine much easier to maintain than walking in circles for 15 minutes at a time. Five minutes is just the right length of time to step back and think about whatever project I am working on. It rejuvenates my mind, while giving me a short bit of exercise. Five minutes of thoughtful pacing does not interfere with my work habits or my lifestyle.
I know it is not the recommended length of time for a work out. It does not send my heart racing, or leave me sweating, or short of breath. However, five minutes is better than no minutes, and I believe it will add up over time. It suits me much better than any formal exercise.
My goal is to spend a minimum of three, five-minute sessions of pacing every day. To this end, I have a set of stones, displayed in a bowl. These are not just any stones. The bowl is not just any bowl.
During special times and in special places, I collected stones. These stones hung in a pouch around my neck when I sat for my comprehensive exams. These stones traveled with me, when I drove around the countryside, alone with my young daughters. These stones are treasured possessions, old friends.
The bowl is one I made during my brief venture into pottery making. I prefer to "hand-make" pottery, partly because I am physically unable to use a wheel, and partly because of the variety of interactions it affords with the clay. I like this bowl created entirely by my own whimsy.
So the stones sit in the bowl.
Each time I walk in circles, I move a stone to one side of the bowl, thus marking the number of pacing sessions. Once I reach three stones, I stop counting. Everything after three stones is a bonus.
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On the Screen
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
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