I Solve it by Walking

The ‘it’ in the title of this blog stands for all the things requiring my attention each day, that add up to my life.  Or don’t add up – and stop me writing.  Because, sometimes I feel pulled apart and owned by my To Do list, instead of me owning them.

WALKING daily, I solve the fear of not holding ‘it’ all together.  I push back, cut loose from the tangle of emails, Twitter, Instagram, shopping, cooking and writing.  I step away from being a carer, planner, author, mother, granny, blah, blah… the plate spinning multi-tasker that we all are.  ‘It’ will all be there when I return.  Yet, a different me returns, for some reason.  I walk so I can write, listen, etc.

I have to walk for 45 minutes.  It takes that long for the one-two, one-two, one-two of silent walking to hypnotise my body and mind into letting go.

Less than that, and it’s not far enough to cross over from the clutter, into what feels like an Other world.  If I think, what is this Other place, I don’t know.  I can only say what it feels like to have been there.

It’s the place where I feel like I become myself.  Life feels a bit more spacious.  That’s enough to let me do what I need to.  I suppose it’s a kind of de-cluttering of the soul.  And I get there by walking into it.

I used to say to my kids, melodramatically ‘Put, she was the sum of the demands made upon her’ on my gravestone!  A joke, sort of.  Here lies buried, not a whole person – but a junk box of bits and pieces.

This walking connects intimately with my writing, because I need to be in that uncluttered state to write.  Focussed but relaxed.  And open.


About Sarah

I am a writer, broadcaster, blogger and vlogger, wife, mother, granny and carer. We live in the Highlands of Scotland and London.

So – I’m a bit addicted to getting out into the ‘Other’ world outside the door – whether it’s a door in my head to my writing.  Or the kitchen door out onto a footpath.  I feel bad when I know it’s a day that I can’t walk into it.

Mostly, I do the same walk.  But I’m going to experiment and change one element, to see if it adds anything.  And that is – timing.

I’m going to try to walk at 6am, three times a week, for an hour, for a year.

It isn’t much of a mission, but it’s the best I can do in my circumstances.  And I’ll try to blog about it regularly.  I’m going at 6am because, for me it’s the hour between when I should be asleep, and when I should be getting down to work.  6am is symbolic of a crossing place between one world and another.  Between clutter and poise.

This is easy to plan now, in May, when it’s broad daylight by 4am.  In January – when it’s zero degrees, black as hades, and raining as I plod off round my circuit… we’ll see.

A friend told me once that monks used to pace round and round their cloisters.  Cowls over their heads, slippers smoothing the paving stones, walking through the centuries.  Perhaps they still do.

Why?  Ut solve is ambulando, they said.  I solve it by walking.

When the writing and life are painful – when the words don’t come out right – or when Kim’s stroke is a thick glass wall stopping us understanding and reaching each other.  When all the clutter threatens to own us instead of us owning it – then sometimes I too can solve it by walking.

Care to share?  Would love to hear about your walking…


  1. Max F

    Blissfully uncluttered, I hope for nothing less for you! 6am is the switching hour, but I can only imagine the challenge from October to March… good luck with “it”

  2. Clare

    I solve it by walking is what I have done for at least the last 15 years and always first thing in the morning. A necessity in London if you want to be out before the rest of the world gets out! It is the best time of the day to do it for another reason and that is because it is before most of what is on the to-do list is possible and before the telephone starts ringing. Winter walks in the early hours are a bit more testing but still have the same effect.

  3. Lorraine

    I love that you have challenged yourself. This was an inspiring read. I also need to start walking for many of the same reasons you do.

  4. Sherry Frazier

    Sarah, yes we have to take long walks. To think and be a little closer to God.

  5. Chas Mackay

    Hi, It sounds like a phase , you’ll get over it , you might want to take up art. (What do I know, I’m male ) Good luck

  6. Jacqui

    Walking is a balm to the soul. A chance to empty the mind of all cares and worries and just. be present in the moment. My favorite time to walk is while the sun is rising–the world is blissfully new cultivating the feeling that All Things Are Possible. I tuck that knowing into my soul, so that I can tap into it throughout the day and refill my well of creativity and peace.

  7. Rhianydd

    Yes I love walking and challenging yourself to get up for a 6 am start for three days a week – why not

  8. Roxanne Fraser

    I try to walk every morning and have for years. I feel grounded when I am in nature


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