I wake up early, make a coffee, and start working straight away. So, by 9 or 10 AM, I’ve got in 2-3 hours of work, and need a break. The dog and I go for a walk.
We return, we have breakfast, and I head up to work again. He sleeps.
After another couple of hours of focussed work, I’m in need of a break again by noon/1PM. So, unless R has already claimed it, the dog and I go for another walk.
We return, have lunch, and watch TV for a bit. Then I return to work upstairs, and he goes back to doing what he does best – sleep.
By around 6 or 7 in the evening, my head is screaming for a break again. Literally screaming – tinnitus has been getting quite bad lately. So we do whatever helps. A.k.a. the dog and I go for a walk, again.
I have always loved walking. I went for lone walks after fights with parents as a teenager. I enjoyed going for lone walks in Delhi in my early 20s – it helped living so close to Siri fort forest. I loved walking around the campus in Calcutta, and at the sea front in Bombay.
I occasionally enjoy company on my walks. I go for a daily walk with Dad when I’m in Karnal. I also enjoyed walking around with a few friends in Bombay and Calcutta. Once in a while I even enjoy having R come along for a walk.
More often, I prefer to be alone. Walks are my time to let the mind wander, or focus, or rest. Let the mind do what it wants while the legs, the lungs, and the heart get some loosening. After all most of the non-walking time is just the opposite – mind at work, everything else resting. Having company on a walk means the mind has to engage – converse, debate, listen (to remember). Not rest. Not recover.
Walking with Chewie isn’t the same. He doesn’t tax my mind too much, yet keeps my heart entertained. He loves all the tracks – muddy, sandy, gravely, boggy – that I keep exploring. He loves hills as much as I do. He enjoys exploring smells in the woods. He loves rivers and the sea. He enjoys being out and about, likely more than even me.
So, when I hit a mental road block with work, I look at him, and he’s up for it. We go for a walk.
When I’m anxious or tense, he takes me for a walk.
When I need to clear my head, or escape tension in the house, he indulges me with another walk.
I’m grateful to have him, always, on the walk.
Sometimes when I’m deep in work, when it’s -4°C and horizontal rain outside, when my body is still aching from the previous run/ride/swim/yoga, he comes and nudges my arm away from the keyboard with his nose. He wants to go for a walk.
I coddle him, delay him, curse him, plead with him. Then he wins. We go for a walk.