Splitting Up and Stepping Out: A Casual Walkthrough

Casual Walkthrough. So, picture this – it’s 2020, the first lockdown is in full swing, and my husband and I are chilling in the shed, sipping wine. Out of the blue, we drop the bomb: our 17-year relationship has hit the end of the road. “It’s over, right?” I throw it out there. “I know,” he says, looking at his glass. The unsaid words were finally out.

A Toast to Honesty

After the shock wears off, there’s a weird sense of relief. Frustrations are gone, and we’re surprisingly civil about it. We even raise a toast to our newfound honesty, chatting into the early hours. But reality hits the next morning – sipping coffee together feels strange, especially after agreeing it’s over. Plus, I’m dealing with grief from losing my dad and our jack russell back-to-back. Mid-40s, starting over, and all this against the backdrop of Covid. Talk about overwhelming.

Walking It Out

To make sense of the chaos, I decide walking is the answer. I set a goal – 15,000 steps every day. A simple target, something to bring consistency and comfort during this crazy time. As a travel writer, I’ve walked some distances, but a daily quota is a whole new ball game. My dad used to say, “Everything is resolved by walking.”

Rain or Shine, Walkin’ Time

The hot weather vanishes, and in the endless rain, I find peace on my two-hour hikes. Lucky for me, London’s got Epping Forest, the Olympic Park’s wetlands, and marshes near Hackney. It becomes therapeutic, a chance to let my mind settle along with some deep breaths. Journaling and the Pacer app add to the addiction.

Winter Wanderings

As winter creeps in, so do boggy paths and low sun. My ex and I, now separated, still meet for discussions. But my walks become a mindful escape. Podcasts and music are only allowed on “boring bits.” I practice meditation and ponder my half-finished novel.

Benefits Beyond Steps

The hunger after walks and the anticipation of a nap leave me feeling productive. My sleep improves. People claim they’re “too busy” for 15,000 steps, but as a freelancer, it slots perfectly into my week. Even dating apps enter the scene, and walking boosts confidence.

Post-Divorce Strides

Three years post-divorce, my ex and I are great friends. We’ve moved on to new relationships. My boyfriend finds my daily step count amusing. I’m not as religious about it now, but the practice is a reminder that life keeps evolving – a nod to that shed moment that kicked off a new chapter.