Posted by: Jenn Latino
I am a creature of habit. Scheduled living is like my vice! It keeps me sane. There are 7 days in a week and I have a “to do” that accompanies each day. I don’t make last minute decisions, I don’t go out after work unless I have plenty of notice and can adjust adjacent evening’s tasks, there is always a guarantee of an evening menu item with chicken on Monday and ground turkey on Wednesday….the list of predictable ways goes on and on. I dedicated a blog to this during the 2009 training so I won’t elaborate much. But, if you are looking for evidence of my habitual ways, visit the August 17th entry: http://newkidsonthewalk.blogspot.com/2009/08/mother-nature-knows-best.html
I am not a boring person, mind you! I do cut loose now and then. When I am feeling really crazy, and I just want to do something wild, I make breakfast for dinner!
Because of my regularly scheduled life, I walk on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm. Saturday and Sunday training walks begin no later than 7am. This week, I decided to move my Tuesday evening walk to the morning. I didn’t make this decision lightly. I rationalized the change in routine and used the following as evidence that the switch from p.m. to a.m. made sense:
1. Tuesday was a BIG night for TV! Biggest Loser finale; Dancing with the Stars finale; Glee Lady GaGa episode; Parenthood; American Idol. It all started at 8pm and I had to pre-game with Glee and Parenthood from last week bc I missed them due to some last minute wedding preparations (Congrats to Valerie and Carl!). Even with 2 DVRs running, a 3-mile walk would only slow down the viewing process.
2. We were expecting rain and the likelihood was that we would get it in the early evening. A morning walk was almost certain to be a dry walk.
3. I was home later than usual. Joey’s Awards Day was at 10am and I was playing the role of Family Paparazzi! I didn’t have to leave home until 9:15am so I had plenty of time to get up and get moving.
At precisely 7:00am I leashed up Riley and Joplin and we took to the streets, ready to take on our familiar 3-mile route. I wasn’t expecting anything new. It was even a bit cooler and not nearly as humid as the 7pm walks have been the last few days. As we made the turn from my street onto the first long stretch, we were off for a pleasant morning stroll. I quickly learned that there is a big difference between 7 AM and 7 PM! The greatest difference is the obstacles that met us on the street. Allow me to recount several of these obstacles:
1. Bus riders. Kids these days don’t know how good they have it. When I was a kid, we had 1 bus stop for the whole cul de sac. No matter where you lived, you had to walk to the end of the street and wait by the stop sign. For Joyce and I, this was 4 house lengths. I swear that in The Summit every kid in the neighborhood gets picked up right at the end of their driveway.
When walking with 2 dogs, kids hanging out at the sidewalk are an issue! While Riley and Joplin are incredibly friendly, 100 lbs of black lab lunging toward a 2nd grader while mom watches from the kitchen window is not a good start to the day.
2. Frisky Pests. The animals are much more frisky in the morning. There were bunnies and squirrels bouncing from beneath the shrubs and leaping from tree to tree. My loyal readers will recall that run ins with squirrels present a threat to my life every time Riley joins me for a walk. I won’t rehash things but, you may want to visit my June 29th blog from last season: http://newkidsonthewalk.blogspot.com/2009/06/riley-and-flying-squirrels.html The situation has not improved. I am still playing super sleuth and holding on for dear life!
3. Morning Showers. 7:00am must be the most common time to activate residential sprinkler systems. Despite the fact that it poured rain Monday evening and that we were promised more on Tuesday, at least 80% of the houses on our route had their sprinklers going. Again, loyal readers, you remember the hazard that sprinklers present (June 22nd): http://newkidsonthewalk.blogspot.com/2009/06/playing-frogger-with-devils-strip.html Looks like the 2010 season is no exception.
4. Trash Day. Tuesday is trash day, which means that on our regular Tuesday evening walks, empty bins line the driveways of my neighbors’ homes, waiting to be dragged back to their “out of sight” (as mandated by the HOA) location until the next week. A 7:00am walk means that these bins are full—and smelly! OH MY! The stench that came from some of the bins nearly knocked me out! And, of course, the dogs wanted to fully investigate every odor that we passed. My neighbors have stinky 7am trash!! Whooooo Weeeeee!
5. Hyper Pups. Long walks in the morning guarantee that when you arrive home in the evening, you are greeted at the door by 2 dogs who have slept the entire day---and are now ready to party! See earlier mentioned Tuesday night TV line up and you will understand why it was important that the pups be still. UGH!
As it turns out, changes to my routine not only throw me completely off my game; it can be down right hazardous to my health and safety. Next time I am feeling wild and crazy and decide I want to break my routine, I’ll just make breakfast for dinner.
Cheers and Happy Stepping!