Nature is super efficient at shifting limited resources to where they are need it. Our bodies seem to follow a 'use it or lose it' principle. Going to a park is a great visual reminder of this. Especially if you toss a ball around or start being silly on some of the climbing equipment. Kids seem to have boundless energy. Adults, and definitely this adult, seem very bounded. Admittedly the half pints have less to bound, but I don't think that explains it all. I have heard it said that sitting at a desk is the smoking of this generation. Working long office hours stooped in your chair is a pretty clear indication to the body to shift the energy elsewhere. Many who prioritise exercise manage to squeeze in 2 or 3 sessions a week. So it is no surprise that the little guys run circles around us. We know activity is important for kids. They have after school activities and are always being encouraged to play outside. When was the last time you went for a ride on your bike without a destination?
In the last few years I was lucky enough on two occasions to fit in one month yoga courses. It is very unusual to be able to get that big a gap once you enter the real world. One part of what was great about those times was the ability to fit in some maintainance. To tell my body that even though I have more grey hair and some crease marks between my eyes from overthinking things, I still would like to use the rest of my body. As Ken Robinson says, the body is not just a transportion vehicle for the head. It is incredible what happens when you are able to fit in daily exercise, periods of proper relaxation, a bit of nature and you eat well. Even washing the dishes (with the addition of some singing and silliness) becomes a lot of fun. Stress slowly falls off the body and you feel lighter.
What was also great about a month dedicated 'recovery' was that not only did I know I was relaxed now, I knew I would be relaxed in a weeks time. This meant there wasn't that impending doom of the upcoming week. Now I have been lucky enough to enjoy my work, so doom isn't really the right word, but all jobs come with a level of stress.
I am busy listening to Russell Brand's Revolution. I find him very entertaining even though he does require a slightly bigger bull for his bull quota. As a comedian that is his prerogative. He makes no pretence at writing the book for a balanced view or for those who disagree with him. He is writing to stir up those who already think what he thinks. There are trews in the book but I am not a revolutionary. I think the world has done a pretty great job wrenching more and more of itself out of poverty. That said, I think there are big challenges. Admitting that doesn't mean that the challenges are bigger that they have been. If you are not white or are a woman, gay, or in any way disadvantaged... life is improving over the long term. The remaining barriers are frustrating. They do get people angry. They are hard to change. But we are becoming aware of them. I am not going to stand on Hyde Park corner decrying the evils of the office environment and limited holidays as an evil conspiracy. I do think we can do a better job. Many of the things that allow us to be happy are within our grasp, it is just a case of prioritisation.