Over on Instagram, my feed has pictures of audiobook covers, my non-human Human Resources department, and the occasional snapshot of food from my kitchen. Oh, and my kids. They make appearances online every so often, too. The most common pictures these days are my #coffeewalk pictures, though. Quick simple selfies that I take while out on my weekday promenade around the block, and I stop for coffee at the local convenience store. And it’s funny, but that simple hashtag and snapshot has become kind of empowering, for reasons that I’ve only just now realized.
First, the pictures and hashtag provide a kind of fun accountability for regular exercise. My #coffeewalk route is 3.5 miles, from my front door and back, going around the block and stopping for coffee at the 2.0 mile mark. If I want to add some steps, I can do an alternate “around the block” and do 3.5 miles, plus another 1.5 miles home. Vocal health requires physical health, so the exercise is part of my job as a narrator. And hey, the regular exercise is good for my mental health (sunshine and fresh air alongside the other strategies I employ) so it serves multiple purposes.
Second, it’s something to post regularly on social media. Sure, it’s not as exciting as announcing a new project to record or a book release, but it’s a reminder that I’m here and starting another work day. When you’re working for yourself and you connect with the vast majority of your clients via social media, it never hurts to make sure that you’re out there on a consistent basis. So, it’s me, in my workout clothes, with nothing but a tiny bit of sunscreen and my sunglasses. Maybe a hat, if the sun’s really bright that morning.
Third, that #coffeewalk requires that I’ve got something in my ears. Most days, I split the time between a fun workout music playlist and a chapter of the next book that’s got my attention. On other days, it’s a favorite podcast on topics I enjoy, like writing or audiobook narration. Whatever is going through my earbuds, it’s helping me pass the time on my journey down the street and around the corner.
Finally, it’s a sort of branding thing. Coffee’s my “happy place” and serves as a reward after a particularly challenging day. I’ve got awesome coffee t-shirts, and it’s a joke in my family that I do *not* need any more coffee mugs… but they’re my favorite kind of souvenir when we travel to a new place or have an awesome family experience. If I become “that #coffeewalk mom” or “the #coffeewalk narrator” then that’s a pretty awesome accomplishment. Heck, maybe others will use the hashtag, and a search on the hashtag will yield dozens of pictures of people enjoying their strolls on the way to snag their favorite soul-snuggling beverage, talking about the latest audiobook in their ears. And that, I gotta say, would be pretty cool.