My Truth Starts with a Walk Around the Block

An Urban circle walk-great for thinking

I like to walk, not a power walking style but something above a casual stroll. Alone, if I’m looking for my truth.

As I get older, I have found it both harder and more comfortable to think and behave while staying true to myself. Let’s capture that thought as an increase in complexity to just be me. I’m more aware of the greys in life and the cost of consequences. I more aware of the subtle pressures to be somebody I don’t want to be. I can see the other person’s point of view. (Note: Using POV just isn’t me, at least not yet!)

So I reflect, during those truth walks, on who I am. How do I want my virtual tombstone to read? After the situation passes, will I be able to look back and recognize myself? I don’t want to over complicate the process. It usually happens in the proverbial blink. New circumstances may require more time, and a walk is in order.

During this pandemic, the use of masking is controversial. Aside from the legal aspects, there are still decisions to make. Should I go to a restaurant, eat indoors and not wear a mask? When I’m driving with family members, who no longer live at home, should I wear a mask? What will they think if I do wear a mask – or don’t?

When is a space crowded enough to warrant a mask, if there is no clear rule about what to do?

When am I going to wear a mask? What is my truth? Time for a walk. I tell my wife what I’m doing, she’s very understanding, and I head out the door and turn left onto the public sidewalk.

I’m not a big conspiracy believer. This isn’t a big plan by the government to control me. I haven’t heard or read any of these ideas that are backed by any credibility to my satisfaction. So that simplifies things considerably. Now I’m coming up to the first left turn to head up the sidewalk.

I’m a person who has a very satisfying life. I’m surrounded by people who I love and love me. I want all of us to be as safe as we can be, without being a house hermit. Turn left again.

Before my walk, I had spent time accessing credible sources of information. One person’s trustworthy source is, for another person, just lies.

Current, and I emphasize “current” thinking offered by Public Health, is outdoors is safer than indoors. I use the relative term specifically over the absolute – safer vs safe. Current guidance by Public Health is that masks protect others, perhaps better than the wearer. Still, a worn mask is safer behaviour than not wearing one. Now turn left again. Watch out for the heaved sidewalk. Don’t trip.

I don’t think we’ll be in much of a different place a year from now. I won’t be more immune, nor will others. I need a long term approach in my thinking. If, and that is still a big if, from my review of the development process of a vaccine, it is still at least a year away. Best case scenario. Turn left, last time before being home.
Now I need to pull all this together and be confident no matter the outcome. I will have done my best to balance off considerations, realizing I’ll never have enough certainty in the information in front of me—now the home stretch.

I decided that, for now, I’ll stay outdoors for my social needs. Backyards. Windy days are the best. Some restaurant/pub patios only if there is a culture of safety vs minimum compliance. Staff are not taking their masks off when on a break over in the corner or talking to each other.
If I have to ask myself if the space is crowded enough for a mask, I need to wear a mask.

So consider how you might find your truth, Practice reduces the length of the process. Pick a topic. Go for a solitary walk or whatever you’ve discovered works for you. Reinforce who you are by determining what the right behaviour is for you. Go ahead and give it a bit of a think.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making The Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
Volunteer