It’s Municipal Election Day today in Ontario.
As I was pondering what to write about, two words came to mind: Gratitude and Choice.
And although there is a lot to be grateful for everyday, today, the gratitude lens is particularly focused on our good fortune in this community, province and country to be able to choose who we want to have represent us. That is perhaps more pronounced at the municipal level than other levels (thinking about the ongoing debate over proportional representation), but I don’t have to look far beyond our borders to feel fortunate to be Canadian.
And what does this have to do with trails? Same two words come to mind: Gratitude and Choice.
Specifically, I feel very fortunate and grateful to – largely – be able to choose how my day unfolds. Being self-employed, I often have more control over my schedule than others who are working for an organization with less flexibility. Don’t get me wrong; some days are very long and filled with last-minute surprises that can thwart my efforts to get out for a run with or without the dogs on the trails. Being self-employed means you’re never off-the-clock and that worry is a constant companion.
However, each morning when I start to plan my day, the knowledge that I can more often than not choose when and where I am going to run or hike leaves me feeling grateful.
The challenge for me, however, is making the correct choice. Even when I know the best decision is to leave work for time in the forest (or even on a trail very close to the house), I can let my companion (worry), or other priorities, or other peoples’ priorities, or inertia take control. When this happens, the result is almost always frustration and regret.
But, alas, I continue the struggle to ensure the right choice, the best choice prevails: to eschew the real or perceived constraints, even for a short period of time, to embrace the benefits of time placing one foot in front of the other while taking in whatever daily treats nature wishes to share with me.
Because that choice always leaves me feeling even more grateful.