It’s an easy jog from the Olympic Pools in Newmarket through the Domain and over Grafton Bridge. Under Grafton Bridge is the remains of a cemetery. Most of the graves are in disarray, broken from vandalism, tree roots and the shifting ground.
Down into the gully and over a little creek and you’re at the new cycleway under construction. Can’t wait for that to be finished but I’m one of the first to run on it I’m sure. Back up the hill, more of a bush climb than a run and all of a sudden you’re at Governor Hobson’s grave. Signed the Treaty of Waitangi on behalf of Queen Victoria and six months later dead. Aged 49.
Running after the pool was quite hard for some reason so it was the end of K’Road and back. A cold day, wet and nice to be in a hot shower and in warm clothes. Going out for exercise when it’s cold and wet is hard. It’s definitely easier not to go out!
As I’ve said before from the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, life is short, life is dull, life is full of pain. But it’s not that hard to make something special for yourself.
And in the winter where there’s not a honey bee in sight, just rain, cold, and at Grafton Cemetery a stark reminder of how long you’re gone when you’re gone, time to give yourself something simple for an uplift.
Might be a run, a movie, time out with a friend or connecting with family.
An easy uplift for a gloomy winter’s day.
Even with a cool breeze running through the house it’s well over 80% humidity according to the dial in the hallway. If you’re a parent of a young child you’d be sweating too, if you haven’t done the business by now and got a suitable collection of presents under the tree. It’s a festival for mid-winter for most of the world but we’re here in the most humid time of the year, with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Evan apparently in our midst.
One of the Franklin Road houses has a big ribbon around it with words that make you look twice. A colleague at work commented that they “couldn’t wait for Christmas”. When I enquired what that was about, I was told it was the current pressures. “Now is as good as it ever gets” was my reaction. It always is.
Enjoying the present is very much part of Christmas, whether that be the wrapped sort or the real sort. Even for a cynic who looks forward to the end of the actual day so they can start enjoying a holiday, here’s an opportunity to really take stock of the present. Sweating it out with a hot roast here in Auckland can be tough, but don’t worry, those relatives won’t be here for long! Always waiting for the future is a trap. The present is our gift to ourselves.
I woke up early this morning for a Sunday and even earlier ‘cos it’s the end of Daylight Saving. I read quite a bit at 6.30 this morning from Zite – the on-line magazine you tailor to suit your interests (and prejudices too no doubt!) – including a piece about happiness and the need for us all to play without a goal. Like kids do. And on your hands and knees sometimes.
Martin Seligman, the author of “Authentic Happiness” is quoted as saying the three pillars of mental health are love, work and play.
I’ve seen an awful lot of work lately, come to think of it I always have. Why do we work so hard? Or you might think work so poorly that you have to spend way too much time at work. Which could be true. Work can be play of course and can bring satisfaction.
If, on the other hand we’re working hard for money because we believe at one level that that will bring happiness then it might be worth thinking about Martin Seligman’s other work on positive psychology. He talks about three life states: the pleasant life (things) the good life (discovering our unique strengths) and the meaningful life (finding a meaning for our life greater than just us).
Money gives us the pleasant life. Work gives us money. But neither can give us the good life or the meaningful life on its own.
An extra hour gave me some play, a hint of the good life (whether it’s any good or not I’ve blogged again!) and even some time to reflect on meaning.
I’m loving the extra hour!