Earthworms’ Castings

By Jean Ponzi

Double My Ws
Goal setting generally leaves me cold. But I stepped into this winter season and New Year with a goal I actually care to meet: to walk at least twice as often as I did last year.

Documented! On the kitchen calendar (Missouri Natural Events), with a red wax pencil, I mark and circle a big red W in the square for every day when I purposefully walk. My purpose is to boost and maintain well-being and focus.

I wrote about this last July, in these pages. Give Myself a W recalled how the act of walking – a most fundamental self-motivating practice – moved me through fear-full 2020.

What counts for a W? About 30 minutes steady walking, ideally outdoors. With as much of a focus as I can maintain, on stability in motion, on my breath. Even terrain (paved, in good repair) is best for elder body mechanism safety. Hills (abundant in my neighborhood) make each localized, car-free W a welcome stretch.

If Mind insists she wants to wander, we step out off the focus leash. I talk to myself, out loud, listening to hear and understand Wassup? as movement frees up innard-knowing. Sometimes I talk on the phone, but usually tech stays pocketed. Funny how a lone person “conversing” aloud no longer signals Nut-Job Alert!

I know that experts and gizmos mandate milli-steps and vital-sign tracking, but my W culture is not strict. Dealing, as I vocationally do, in planetary issues like biodiversity and climate change, I frankly do not feel compelled to saddle myself with a bunch of be-better expectations. It’s enough of a practice to Be Kind,drink less wine than water, and red-up those calendar pages.

On the cusp of ’23-’24, I tallied last year’s Ws. They showed scant amid MO Nature notes on the breeding, flowering, migration, hibernation and more, animating kindred species.

My average was 6.14 W/month. High: 11 in February (cold but a short month). Lows: 3 each in April (Earth Month, so busy with eco-commitments) and August (hot to be outside) with 4 logged in steamy July.

Averaged, that’s only 1.535 W/week. Surely, as a holder of the Gift of Life I can and need to motivate at least as much as turtles and some plant parts!

Motivate: from the Latin motus, pluperfect of the root verb infinitive movere, to move. So simple!

Because I am a word nerd, etymology inspires me to move my butt. As a brain-intensive sit-and-talk friend of sofas, I’ll use whatever it takes.

So I set a personal goal, for a year that’s bringing me one of those decades-of-living milestones. Through 2024, I will Double My Ws.

Aiming for an EZ average, 3 W/week. Up from there, it’s motile gravy. Red wax evidence, week to week, will be clear for all the world to see, or whoever comes into my kitchen.

A proven, low-impact system already in place. Needing no fossil fuels or electronic platforms. And so far, moving right along.

Jean Ponzi strives to motivate community Green action, through conversations on her long-running Earthworms podcast through KDHX.org, and working through the EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden.