Today’s photo was taken from a car while we were picking up some dinner. I initially planned a different photo but it didn’t work out. However, since I already planned a post I’m going to continue with it.
I grew up in a smaller town. When I was early in my depression and anxiety, I began writing. Another skill was walking. Which I typically did in the evening. You know, when the stresses if the day were over. When I was just ready to go to sleep. Going for a long walk was always a helpful way t get my mind to decompress.
This pattern of walking continued into my time when I was a teen mom. I would wait until I put my daughter to sleep for the “night”. I would then let my mom know so she could listen for her while I was able to disappear for about 30-45 minutes. As she got older, I would begin taking her with me on some of my walks. When the weather was nice enough. She would typically fall asleep on the walks. To be honest, there weren’t any worries about me walking at night. It was a different time and a different place. Honestly.
When we lived in Germany, we lived on-base. So I actually continued my nightly walks. Mostly solo because strollers were hard to navigate. The kids’ father generally stayed with them once I had them all in bed and asleep. To be honest, when the kids were asleep was the only time I would go on my walks. It always scared me to leave my kids with their father. My own house felt scarier than walking at night.
Living in Denver was a bit different. We were stationed at a base with no base housing. Within our subdivision, it was pretty safe but it was still big city living. I would walk during the day (with the kids) but not at night. I was also really struggling with my anxiety and depression. I was struggling with an increase in domestic abuse. I began lacking a major coping skill. I was very unhappy at times. Eventually, I was given a gift I couldn’t live with (written proof of my then husband’s final girlfriend) and developed a backbone. I ended up leaving Colorado with my three young children.
Once I was back in Illinois I had to find things to help myself. But I also had to learn single parenthood. I had to find a job. I had to learn to be myself (not part of someone else). I was living with my mom again. Mentally, I was struggling. So eventually I began going on my nightly walks again. I began writing again! I was working on everything. My solo nightly walks continued until I left my hometown.
I’m going to skip forward a little bit… to where we are now. You know, in the Metro East. Somehow defined as a suburb of St. Louis (but across the river in Illinois). I’m most definitely writing again. I’m with an awesome man who I trust with my children. Oh yeah, my children also are old enough to be home alone. But I’m not really able to do my nighttime walks. Not in the area where we live. Not alone. At the request of my husband who worries about me. It is a balance though… because Shawn walks a lot at work. I don’t blame him for not wanting to go on another mile or so. If it isn’t a weekend, I typically seem to be going on walks with one of my semi-adults. Until winter, where Shawn can join me.
Initially, that nightly walk was what I planned to share with you. But our area was in a storm so I didn’t go for a walk. It had ended prior to my phone but it was late and I was tired. So now I’m sharing with you another frequent even that happens after dark! The trek to find dinner!
Header Image: Kulinetto on Pixabay