Most mornings, I get up, throw on some clothes, and go out for a walk before I’m awake enough to talk myself out of it. I spent the summer (and most of the spring before it, too, now that I think about it) glued to my desk chair, working to get multiple projects out the door. As a result, I gained about 15 pounds. Not happy. When I got out my fall clothes this year, I washed all my jeans and cords, even though they were already clean, so I’d have something to blame if they were tight when I put them on: “Oops! Must’ve shrunk a bit in the dryer . . . ”
Morning walks help. My jeans are fitting the way they’re supposed to, thank you very much, but more important than that is getting into the right frame of mind to face the day. I’m perfectly capable of working in my pajamas all day, but I prefer getting dressed in real clothes. It feels more like I’m going to work that way (plus, when the UPS guy rings the doorbell, it’s embarrassing to answer the door in PJs at two in the afternoon.) Getting up and moving around before I even have my coffee wakes me up. I love stepping outside and breathing the fresh air. And once I pry my eyes open, I love looking around my neighborhood as people are heading out to work and school. It’s a lot better than going from dreamland straight to the computer (a different kind of dreamland).
I live in a very walkable neighborhood. Much of the area was developed in the late 19th century, and it’s full of two-story houses on small lots. Lots of front porches where people sit outside in the summer. Nice, wide sidewalks. Scent of woodsmoke in the air in the fall and winter. Lots of trees (more than 200 species, according to our city forester). A strong neighborhood feel. And there are things to walk to. I live within a few minutes’ walk of Ithaca Falls:
and Ithaca Commons:
If I crane my neck, I can look up at East Hill and see the Cornell University’s Clock Tower (not from this angle, though):
When I get home, the coffee is brewed, my body is awake, and I’m ready to start the day.