We got Chinese takeout last week. We rarely eat the fortune cookies so they lay about until I finally remember that the world will not end if I throw away an unopened fortune cookie, that there is no Good Will drop off site for uneaten fortune cookies. A couple of days after takeout night, I was standing in the kitchen, leaning against the wall sipping a cup of coffee and I noticed the three fortune cookies and I looked at them, concentrating to see which one called out to me. One finally did and I opened it up, cast the cookie aside and read the fortune.It said, "Work on improving your exercise routine."
When did fortune cookies become so judgmental? Fortune cookies are supposed to tell you things like "An exciting opportunity will soon come to you!" or "You will meet someone who will change your life!" or "Make new friends but keep the old." Fortunate cookies are not supposed to say things like, "Your ass looks huge in those sweatpants. Do something about that." My fortune cookie was like a horrible partner - the kind who buys you a treadmill or a gym membership for your birthday. It was as if my fortune cookie knew that I had quit doing push-ups and quit running. Because I did. I quit exercising.
After weeks of push ups, my shoulder hurt so I quit. After five weeks of running, my knee hurt so I quit. I kept meaning to go back to both but I've never really prioritized exercise in my life and it was easy to continue to be a sloth because I have a book to write and a website to run and a personal life.
But yesterday, a friend called and invited me to go for a walk around the park. The sun was shining and the the trees are full of color and I had my To Do list under control, so, I said "Yes. I will go for a walk."
I like going for walks, primarily because I appreciate fresh air and pretty scenery and thinking all the thoughts. Because I do think of things differently when I'm outside. Because I do have thoughts that don't occur to me when I am sitting at my desk staring at a screen.
So, we walked and talked and thought all the thoughts and then I walked her home and walked back to my house alone. Halfway home, I stopped for a few minutes - stopped without thinking that I needed to get home and start working.
The sky had grown cloudy and the air was a bit cooler and I looked up into the sky, through the branches of this tree. The photo doesn't do it justice - you can't see the yellow of the leaves in contrast with the faded blues and grays of the clouds - but I stood there and took the picture because I wanted it to stick with me.
I still think my fortune was a punk ass slip of paper but maybe I do need to get out more. And if I can't run, maybe I should start by trying to walk.