Aye, Lassie

Every morning during the summer, I go on a little run around my neighborhood. The thing I like about running is there's no delay: I'm out the door, and as soon as your feet hit the ground you're doing what you set out to do. I'm not a big fan of inefficiency. 

I'm not a professional runner by any means (every time it gets cold for the winter, I quit and have to start all over again next summer) but it's the one "workout" I enjoy. I used to listen to music, but I eventually got tired of fussing with the armband and the headphones and gave up. Now, I just run. I listen to everything around me, I watch the things I go by, and I watch the things that go by me. I've heard people talk about the value of mindfulness mediation, but I can't seem to quiet my mind enough for that. Running works because I don't have to be still--I can move fast and think about things. Sometimes it's about the future: "What's my plan for the day? The week? The year?" and sometimes it's about the things around me: "What's that flower? Who's that person I see every day?"
The point is, the running feels secondary. So often, my day is filled with tasks and work and if I do have down time, I fill it with TV and crosswords. I really like running. It's the only time where I even come close to approaching a "zen" state.

At any rate, I almost always see this Collie about halfway through. She's usually out in the backyard, and when she is, she always barks at me. The first time, it startled me. The second, third, and fourth time, it was annoying. Now though--every morning--I run by, she barks, and I yell: "Good morning! Isn't this exciting?" 

I hope someday I can deal with all of life's little annoyances this way.