Strange times. As we, over generations, have moved toward a, supposedly, fairer and more equal society, where increasingly below average is accommodated and the highlighting of an individual’s inability to complete a given task is seen as bullying, it is in stark contrast to media, social and other, portrayals of what one’s expectations should be in life.
I am starting this blog quite late in the day as I have been sidelined with my other passion, filmmaking. My body is still aching from the battering I have put it through this week and the shock of working for eight days in a row – I’m barely used to working two days in a row, further more eight! My training has been intense this past week, really showing me how much I have slacked off.
One of the elements that attract people most to a concept, idea or course of action is its possible ease of execution. Given the choice of two possible options, people usually opt for the easier one, whether that ease is financial, time saved or physical exertion depends entirely on the individual in questions view of what is easiest.
The vast array of diets and exercise plans with the promise of rapid results feeds into that human desire for the easiest route. Adverts for meal replacement drinks, point system diets, twelve weeks to a bikini body, lose ten pounds in a fortnight, plus the ever popular before and after pictures of people losing ten, twenty and even thirty kilos, help to fuel the notion that it is easy.
As I travel home from a post-work training session, happy that I was coerced into joining a track session, I now know the scale of the task ahead of me. I have an inkling of a plan to compete in Masters athletics once again, it gave me a target, a definite goal to aim for. Having not raced for nearly a decade, my training has been very generalised, no specific aim except to retain a modicum of fitness.
It is an ironic truism that if I knew ten, twenty or maybe even thirty years ago what I know now, my life would be very different. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Probably not with decisions of the heart, they have always been made in a foolhardy and reckless manner. With other life decisions, jobs I have taken, options I have chosen, some of those, I would like to think, would have been different.
There is a popular notion in the western world, sort of a natural offshoot of the ‘be positive’ and ‘what you believe you achieve’ mantra that has permeated society. The notion is that if you follow your passion, you’ll never work again. Hmm. Now I am not the first, second or even third person to think – and now write about – this being a little, um, bullshitty.
I can tell you what is most valuable to you. Health, of course, is very important, without your health life is pretty miserable. As well as one’s physical health, one’s mental health is also of paramount importance. Still, neither is the most valuable commodity.
In our consumer crazy world, we purchase items, subscriptions, take holidays, accumulate stuff at a ferocious rate, hoarding phones, computers, televisions, buying designer clothes, going organic, because it looks good and buying fresh produce, having a night out at the cinema, theatre or just out for a meal, all of these things and experiences add to one’s life and general enjoyment. In that respect, all of the aforementioned is valuable.