Reflections on Illness Part 2

As part of the rehab for my sciatica I am walking frequently.

It feels counter-intuitive as I feel quite sore on waking or resting, however once I get going I loosen up heaps.

As a result of being forced to take it easily, I am learning heaps about my back yard down here on the Surfcoast that I never stopped to appreciate – well, at least since I was a kid and still had a healthy degree of curiosity fascination about the world.

Over the last couple of days I have walked down to Jan Juc Beach and along to Rocky Point (adjoining Torquay Surf Beach) to enjoy the cool water of the rock pool we always knew as the shark pool. I literally have not been in that pool since I was a kid. Not surprisingly, the only ones who joined me in the pool was a group of kids who were having a great time.

The weather has been gorgeous and the surf has been pretty good, so it is fantastic wading around in this calm pool doing rehab, whilst watching the surf only 10-20 metres away.

What have I been missing all of these years? It was such a rich experience, yet so simple. And it’s been there, staring me in the face for so long.

It’s funny how we get so in our head about what we are doing – be it work,activities and even our exercise – that we rarely, if ever, slow down to take advantage of the simplest, yet richest experiences and features that our environment has to offer.

Given we inherited our body from our hunter-gatherer, or Paleolithic, ancestors around 40,000 years ago, this awareness of our immediate environment is what we were built for. Back then we did not get caught up in expectation and pressures to have a good career, earn money, have a nice partner/house/car, send the kids to the right school, have the latest new phone or technological gadget etc. etc. Or even to look ‘sexy’ or attractive!! We simply lived in the present attending to our day to day needs and those of our family and tribe.

This is a mental note and challenge to myself (and others if you choose) to continue to stay open to the simple things as I start getting better and back into my so-called ‘normal’ or previous routine. The only way to do it is to get out of the head. Stop and enjoy what is right in front of me. And stay in the present.

And we can learn a lot from our kids about this.