Taking a Constitutional


Yesterday my wife and I took a constitutional. That’s “old-speak” for taking a walk for your health, mental and physical. In “new-speak” that might mean getting the heart rate up, conducting a slow cardio workout brisk enough to be good for the ticker, and clearing the mind with a nip of north wind.

The dog, much to his chagrin, was left home. As a Christmas gift, I gave him his own “constitutional” first. The problem with a long, brisk walk with a dog is dogs have little interest in the brisk part. No, they are the original stop-and-smell-the-roses (and grass stems and rocks and trees and telephone poles and crumpled McDonald’s bags and other dog turds) walkers. Maddening, not mind-clearing.

So, yes. A good start to the new year (which can be declared any old day of the year in the autocracy of your mind). When we returned we had that “good feeling” you get after you do the right thing. You know, like after the benediction at church as you file out, after they remove the needle from your arm and hold up the heft of you (in a dark red plastic pint) at the blood donation center, or after you let that long-suffering car on a side street enter traffic ahead of you with a friendly wave.

We cannot control much in this indifferent world, and it can get depressing to think about at times. But consider this: If a daily paper for your day came out every night, the front page could be plastered with more good than bad — all good, even — because you rule that microcosm like the most benevolent of dictators.

A sanguine thought, no? Good for the constitution to think about, even.