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I walked tonight, finally. Improved my time significantly, too, which made me very happy. I had to fight for it, though. Chris hit horrible traffic again on the way home tonight, filming traffic (this particular aspect of living in L.A. frequently sucks). It took him literally two hours to get home. He left at 5:15 PM and didn’t get home until 7:15 PM. Yes, I felt bad for him. Being stuck in traffic is awful. But being stuck with a cranky toddler is no picnic, either. By the time he got home I was so ready to walk… I went to change immediately. I didn’t want there to be any question that I was going tonight, regardless of the hour.

I was in for a surprise, though, and not a nice one. Chris had taken the iPod to work and had listened all day, which drained the battery down to nothing. It’s quite old, so it doesn’t hold a charge the way it used to. I was livid. I had thrown an absolute fit last week – one completely out of proportion to the situation, I might add – when I couldn’t get the iPod to synch properly, and therefore couldn’t load the new Toad album onto it before my walk. We’d had a whole discussion about how I wanted to walk while listening to it, and how disappointed I was.  Chris ultimately resolved it for me, although not until my next walk. I didn’t understand how it could have failed to occur to him that I was not going to be at all happy to come face to face with a nearly-dead iPod right before my long-awaited walk.

Yes, I need my alone time. That said, I never want to be left completely alone with the thoughts in my head. If I am writing, I am doing my level best to rid myself of the garbage that so often fills my brain. If I am walking, I want music to drown it all out. To not have music on my walk tonight was tough for me. I had to work that much harder to make sure my focus was primarily turned outward, rather than inward. I did get a high five from a gay jogger (who was only jogging slightly faster than I was walking), which made me smile. I’ll take my exercise encouragement wherever I can get it. I had several pleasant exchanges with passersby, and our local flock of parrots (yes, parrots) flew overhead, squawking loudly. I got to listen to a boy about my son’s age singing extremely enthusiastically to whatever was on his iPod, while simultaneously dancing in comical fashion and riding his bike. That was worth the price of admission all by itself. I always appreciate the sheer variety of people on the path. Families, couples, parents pushing accomodating babies in strollers, people who appear to be traing for marathons and people who, like me, are clearly trying to get their shit together, but aren’t there yet. All in all, it wasn’t a bad walk, once I got over my surliness over the almost-dead iPod. And it was faster… did I mention that? My previous several walks were all approximately the same speed, so I was exceedingly excited by my sudden improvement.

It’ll be a late dinner, but I really don’t care. I was so happy to be walking again. I can totally feel my attitude shifting with respect to walking from one of grumpiness and dread to one of relative enthusiasm and even relief. That’s a really big deal, people. Huge! I’m going to need to harness all of that, because the path ahead for me is a lot longer than 3.69 miles. One step at a time, I know, but attitude matters. I’d rather be looking at that path with a smile on my face. Tonight, at least, I have one.