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Carol Preisler: Prayer is a big part of my daily routine

Recently I started standing on one leg while saying my prayers. Surely God will notice a slightly overweight woman sending up requests, after her morning shower.

It’s not exactly yoga, but rather my version born of thinking it will help me with my balance. Palms to heaven works for me. Sometimes I try to do the foot-to-knee stance of “tree,” but usually I fail. I have read this could help prevent dementia.

Standing on one leg can become boring. If I glance at the clock before my time is up, I tilt and must start again. Prayer makes me stick with this new after-shower routine.

This started with a television program asking people to try to stand on one leg for 20 seconds. I managed only 10 seconds and was ashamed. The challenge began. As I improved and advanced through 20 seconds, to 30 and on to 60, I was thrilled.

I can say my main prayer and an “Our Father,” switch legs and finish with “Hail Mary,” “Glory Be” and another small affirmation of faith. Tick-tick-tick goes the new pink clock on the wall. I always think it’s a dripping faucet.

My prayer intentions cover many people. So many, in fact that God has to keep the list. When I tell people I will pray for them, I mention that once they go in, they never come out.

I pray for everyone. I bless people who are walking in the rain. I bless anyone carrying heavy grocery bags home or waiting for a bus. Praying for them is like praying for all my memories.

As a child we never owned a car, so I waited for many a bus in the rain and snow. My sister and I carried Mom’s groceries two blocks to our home every Friday. I wonder if anyone prayed for me. We would walk back and forth until all the bags were home. We were too cool to push a cart home. Embarrassed when my mother made us!

I automatically pray when I get into my car. Since driving can be distracting, I usually repeat my prayers over and over.

When I walked to work, as soon as my feet started out the door, prayers came. I pray-walked four times a day, which included the trek home for lunch and dog duty.

I bought a huge umbrella for the rainy days, as well as rain boots. Nothing beats walking in the rain. I used the umbrella on snow days, too. Sometimes winter was long, but the promise of spring was as predictable as my praying.

My son’s apartment building is not far from my home. He has been telling me for a while about a man who exercises outside his windows. He’s not sure if he is a tenant, or a neighbor who likes the open parking lot space.

I finally met him, and asked him if he was doing yoga. He said no, it was his own program. Since he faces the building, I inquired if he was doing this for a particular reason. He said yes, that he was counting bricks. He said to stand facing the openness made it hard for him to count the seconds. He needed to actually “see” and count his time.

I mentioned that I pray standing on one leg. He asked me if that was yoga. I said no. We greet each other now like old friends who are trying to keep in shape and fight off the inevitable aging process.

I added him to my prayers. I trust God knows his name.