My morning was crowned by a gourmet, from-scratch birthday breakfast in honor of our thirdborn son. (For the foodies among us: His wife went all out with fresh pineapple and blackberries, glorious, layered luscious Eggs Benedict topped with creamy hollandaise served with sides of thick cut bacon, fried potatoes and mimosas to sip. All prepared with so much love.<3)

After breakfast and some rousing convo, hubby and I headed out so we could all get back to work. I’d planned to walk in order to sneak in some exercise and take advantage of the sunshine-y winter day and bright blue skies. Helpful Hint for your New Year: I’ve been trying to change my ‘default drive’ thinking, adjust my schedule and tuck in a walk whenever I can before or after appointments so as to keep this body moving (yesterday’s blog) so I sent all my paraphernalia with hubs (all that useful stuff we women drag around with us) adjusted my earphones, stuffed a little cash into my pocket and hit the pavement. (No excuses if it’s too far, you don’t have a driving hubby, you carry too much junk, etc., you can always walk ‘there’ and Uber it home. Uber is a cheap ‘gym’ fee and carrying crap is like a weight lifting session. You can’t imagine what I’ve hauled home on my power walks. That’s info for another blog. Hashtag crazy lady LOL.)

As I reached down to turn on my daily audio reading, I froze….no iPhone! Oops, sent it home with hubs. Hmmm….my mental Rolodex presented several options…chase down his vehicle shouting (which I have been known to do)…ask the stranger in front of me if I could use his phone to call hubby…run back to the kids and have them call him…or, just go without. I suspicion that smart phones have become appendages. Sigh.

I decided to walk untethered. You know, without that nagging chain pulling on my psyche with constant distractions of what perfect picture I needed to capture, whose text just dinged, that call coming in, the temptation to check my email, check the weather, check Facebook, check breaking news headlines. After about 6 blocks I was set free, baby.

I took new routes, noticed beauty I’d never taken the time to ponder, found jaw dropping architecture and landscaping, heard every sound, noticed so much color, counted my blessings, said my prayers, smiled so big I almost blinded myself…THIS, this is what we’re missing. I didn’t have Google to direct me so I darted and dashed to my delight, stopping for an on-sale kombucha at my fav overpriced market, chatted with strangers, smiled some more and 90 minutes and a few miles later found my front door, and found myself physically, mentally, and spiritually refreshed. One more Helpful Hint for the New Year: Choose some blocks of time to forget your smart phone.