Walk Therapy

I was about to slam the laptop shut Sunday evening but remembered it wasn’t mine just before I closed it with enough force to break the screen.

“Ugh! People suck!” I yelled at the wall of books across from my desk. My last chatter had come to the tech support queue ready to do combat, spending the first few minutes of our session telling me how horrible our software is. I’ve done this job long enough to know the only way to cut the RED wire on AN EXPLOSIVE PERSONALITY USING LOTS OF CAPS is to kill it with kindness. That strategy stopped the ticking long enough to diagnose and resolve their issue. I typed, ‘Have a nice evening’ before reading, not a thank you for rescuing un-backed up data but a parting shot at our developers’ mental faculties.

“You okay, Mom?” Thing1 peered into my office, hanging on the door frame so that only his head and shoulder crossed the boundary of my work world (The office is a happy place – my studio/study when I’m not working, but, during the work day, I have seriously considered posting a sign over the door that reads, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”)

“Fine.” I sat rubbing the computer glare from my eyes, contemplating what kind of junk food would be best for a post-battle binge.

“I meant are you okay for our hike?” He asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m thinking about skipping it.

“Are you sure?” There was concern but not reproach in his voice. Thing1 stood up to his full height and slid over the threshold. As the family personal trainer, he takes the encouraging approach to getting the best performance from his team.

“I just wanna sit on the couch and munch on something,” I said. I knew as soon as I sat down, all creativity and activity would cease for the evening. The couch is an anesthetic, and food is the beer chaser. But after a day of snark, my first instinct is to go for the buzz.

But Thing1 was determined to get us out the door and hiking.

It’s still cold and icy out, but each day we walk to the town hall and back, we all get a bit stronger. He runs ahead of us and then back to walk for a bit. Thing2 tried to keep up with his brother.

Between sprints, we talk. We talk about the 5K, about relationships, and the latest Marvel movie (Thing1 and Thing2 are planning to go together – it’s one of the few mutual interests that doesn’t recognize age barriers).

It was lighter but still freezing when we got back. Our cheeks were red and we all knew our legs would be sore later, but our heads felt clearer. There was the kind of serenity that usually only comes with meditation.

Somewhere on the muddy, icy road between the brisk air and probing discussion of how to build a perfect PC, we became devotees of walk therapy. I know I’ll want to vegetate on the couch again tonight. But I also know can count on Thing1 to pull the three of us back up the driveway for another session. I’ll grumble, but I’ll go because in the end, I know we can’t afford not to.

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