Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Time Out!

Did you make the shift to daylight savings with grace and ease? I didn't. Oh, my routine wasn't altered much. Within a day or two, I was past any effects on my circadian rhythm. It's just that twice a year the time change annoys me. Now before I hear from all of you who have a preference one way or the other about daylight savings time, let me explain. I don't care whether we're on DST or ST. I just wish we'd land somewhere and stay there.

Every year, twice a year, our time shift makes major news. Especially this year with all the speculation about how going on or off daylight savings time helps or hinders global warming, depending of course on the expert of the day being interviewed. 
When did we all become so obsessed with time? It used to be that sunrise, midday with the sun directly over our heads (give or take), and sunset were enough to keep us together in some sort of common rhythm. Then, as we became more industrialized, we needed to divide our days into smaller and smaller increments as a way to coordinate with each other. At first, on or about a particular hour was good enough. Then minutes within that hour became necessary. Now, especially for those coordinating in the world of computers, seconds hold greater importance. 
And if that's not enough, as if our game of hours and minutes and seconds has become too boring, we have created a new game where we get to change the time of day twice each year. Now there are whole discussions and disagreements about daylight savings time, how and why it became our practice, whether or not we should be going on each spring and off each fall, when the shift would be most helpful and most appropriate for school children, the earth, business…and on and on and on it goes. What have we come to that we are so busy we need to divide time into tiny increments and then adjust it twice a year based on some theory that only really works for a percent of the population?
All I want to do is sit in my chair with my cup of coffee in the morning and watch the sunrise. And I’ll gladly sit in that same chair each evening and watch the sunset. What time the sun rises or sets is not important to me. For the rest of the month I will have the time of my life ice fishing, no longer “doing time,” but instead, in time out! Try it for yourself. I bet you can find one or two days, on occasion, where sunrise and sunset are all that matter. There's no time like the present.

"Clocks slay time...time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life." ~William Faulkner

"But what minutes! Count them by sensation, not by calendars, and each moment is a day."~Benjamin Disraeli

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by." ~James Matthew Barrie

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Walking the Dog

Here are my favorite Top Ten Reasons to Walk the Dog(s)

1. As Jersey and Styx (my dogs) say, "It blows the stink off."
My dogs mean this a little more literally than I do. But I do notice that as I allow daily worry and concerns to creep in, I begin to smell.

2. It keeps you putting one foot in front of the other.
If it's true that movement creates momentum and momentum creates flow, then putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how mindless, is literally the first step in movement and towards flow.

3. It's a moving meditation.
While my body is doing all the work, my mind is allowed to wander in directions it needs to go and finally become silent.

4. It's cheaper than therapy.
Dogs are great listeners.

5. Your body will look and feel better.
If an improved cardiovascular system isn't enough incentive, think about your legs and butt in shorts and swim suits.

6. You'll notice things only your dog can point out.
Jersey and Styx have hearing and a sense of smell that are far superior to mine. I've come to rely on them to point out wildlife I would have normally walked right by.

7. Ice Cream!
The hot fudge sundae you'll now be tempted to stop for seems little more justified.

8. Without movement and fresh air, dogs, like the rest of us, can become a little testy.
A daily walk can save you repair bills on furniture, boots and shoes, and anything else you dog uses to cure her winter blues. Jersey's personal favorite is playing "keep away" with my $200 hiking boots.

9. If you've been walking your dog regularly, yard clean up is a lot easier.

10. By developing a strong bond with your dog, she may one day share the importance of turning around three times before lying down.