Some people are and some are not, I am NOT a morning person. However back at the end of July my 19 year old son got himself a job in our nearest big city, which because of the logistics of living in a rural community in the UK meant I had to get up at 6.15am and drive the 5 miles for him to catch a bus.
Every morning when I do this I swear to myself that I will take him down then come straight home and go back to bed. Every morning my little personal trainer, who is black and tan, answers to the name of Ember and is a bitza (a mongrel) persuades me to put her in the car and take her as well. On the way home we stop off in the park in the town and she has her morning run. The park is a gift from a Victorian altruist and whilst half of it is laid out to formal gardens, half of it is a massive open green space surrounded by a path and a belt of trees around the edge.
Ember and I walk round the edge, Ember chasing her ball most of the time, occasionally being distracted by the glimpse of a squirrel in the trees which she is convinced she can catch.
As we have been doing this for a while now we have started to recognise some of the other early park users. There is the builder with his springer spaniels who always has a little chat. There is the lady with the puppy cocker spaniel who Ember loves to play with and there is the woman with her three Labradors who we have to give a wide berth to as they play rough and knock Ember off her feet.
Then there is the old chap who sits on the bench and does the crossword in his paper. He never speaks, even though I always say hello, but he smiles when he sees Ember trying to figure out how to climb a tree after a squirrel and I like to think that in some small way I have made his day just a little bit less lonely and maybe given him his first smile of the day.
My walk is more of an amble, sometimes the other park users lap me as we go around, but it gets me out of the house for a while and in contact with other people. This lifts me just a little bit to be able to face the world for another day and maybe Ember and I have touched the other park users as well and given their day a little boost.
Now, I would not advise that you start your day at 6.15 with a walk in the park, but I would recommend that you try and get out and connect with someone everyday, even if its just to say hello to someone you pass by. It may give you a lift and you never know what it will do to that other person, as the old poem goes:-.
Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!
A Moodscope member.