Today the day after Christmas I felt quite lethargic. It might have been the amount of food I ate, also likely the amount of sugar. Although the source of sugar was honey and dates, it’s still a large dose of let’s face it SUGAR in my system and my system does not feel happy about this. I know people think honey and dates is healthy and yeah maybe in really small quantities, ie – a date a month or something, or a lick of honey from a honeycomb – ensue dash for your life from bees, cause let’s face it, honey was a wild thing once upon a time and not produced in mass quantities like it is now. But eating a whole lot of honey/dates is kinda similar to eating tablespoons of sugar, not exactly the same but you get the drift.
Anyway I wanted to write today about living a good, sweaty, active life, or living a dull, boring, inside, air-conditioned life. I experienced something today. I was reading, drinking coffee, eating more dessert – the ‘healthy’ one – and pottering around the house with my Mum feeling pretty crappy, bored, lethargic and a bit melancholic. WTF? It’s holidays! I’m meant to be lounging around, doing nothing, ‘relaxing’, right? Mum suggested we go weed the garden and shove this massive hay bale around to cover some weeds. This did not excite me, but I thought ‘it’s better then sitting on my butt inside all day’. So I donned the ‘jail girl outfit’ aka gardening gear my Mum has put together over the years and ventured out into the ‘wild’. I say wild somewhat lightly. My parents own a few acres so we have some big trees, lots of grass and so lots of weeds to pull out too. Many wild areas too that aren’t mowed but just left ‘wild’.
We pulled out weeds and clipped grass around the sides of step pavers. We pulled out more weeds. I chopped down some gross kaki-bos (South African term) for this icky flowering weed that makes little spikey black things that get caught in our dogs fur. When I first began pulling out weeds and clipping grass I still felt quite lethargic and bored. WHYYY AM I DOING THIS?! I don’t even like gardening. But I continued. It was nice to be outside and to see my Mum smile and talk about her plants, to see our little puppy jumping around chasing leaves and ‘helping’ in our gardening. After pulling out heaps of kaki-bos I lied down on the grass for a rest and looked up into the trees. Beautiful blue sky, white clouds, the slow stirring of green leaves and branches above me. Tranquil. And as the sweat gathered around my forehead I felt more alive then I had felt sitting inside the darkness of the house, pondering about what to do.
We took a small break to wait for the sun to lower a bit and so I changed back into my comfy house dress, made another coffee (was still feeling lethargic) and polished off the last slice of dessert. Naughty me. It’s the day after Christmas after all, right? I sat on the verandah and began to read “The Primal Blueprint” again. Mum joined me and after a few minutes said “Let’s go out again!”….I thought it was an hour break not ten minutes! Haha. She always has such a fire to just go go go! I changed back into my jail clothes and we headed out to the hay bale. My sisters husband helped us push this massive bale at least 20 meters to where we had to use it. It was kinda fun! The thing was dusty and covered with some grubs but pushing it and shrieking and what not was enjoyable.
As in good ol Queensland and really everywhere in Australia the mozzies were coming out to chew us into oblivion. Luckily the jail outfit I had on covered my entire body in thick clothing, except for my face. They got the face! But I could swat most away. We spread the thick grass over and around Mum’s trees and plants to keep the weeds at bay. I kind of enjoyed this. Thoughts of owning a farm and having to spread hay everywhere sprang to mind. But doing that ALL THE TIME would maybe kill one’s back. I took tiny breaks to play with the pup and dance around with him. Dark clouds were approaching, thunder, Mum wanted to go back inside, yet I wanted to pull out more weeds! There was just something so satisfying about clearing all those weeds away. The wind began to blow fiercly just as we got in the house. The house. It was this incredibly different realm to outside. Outside was alive, fierce, wild, beautiful, inspiring, challenging, difficult, interesting. Inside was walled, boring, manicured, deplete of life in a way. I feel this way about all houses. It’s as if we’ve strayed so far away from nature, we’ve created this weird cocoon environment where our every comfort is catered for so much so, that the life in LIFE dies. Instead we walk on hard tiles, sit on cushy seats, flick a switch to dull our brains, can open a door and eat whatever we want, whenever we want. And maybe this does sound like a paradise but in reality it’s not. We’re so cushioned that we don’t experience the joys of life, the joys of nature.
I have a shower and then I don’t want to get all sweaty again. I want to stay in that clean feeling. But to stay in that ‘clean feeling’ means staying in a safe, boring, cushy environment where I do not feel alive. My senses are dulled and I use stimuli, such as coffee or my phone to help me ‘feel awake’. If only we would venture outside more and experience this life outside! It makes me think about modes of transport. Sitting in a car driving is pretty boring, but peddling your bike is pretty fun. Yeah sometimes annoying cause you’re tired and there’s this massive hill you have to climb and watch out for cars, but you know what, you feel alive? When you’re done riding you feel invigorated.
We’ve lost the art of not giving a shit if we get some mud on our face, that’s what we’ve lost. That as children we couldn’t care less if we got mud on our pants or in our hair. We loved it! Remember as kids playing in the dirt, riding your bike around the neighborhood as adventures, chasing the dog, falling on the grass, getting sweaty and dirty and ALIVE! If you don’t remember that, then well, I feel for you, cause part of childhood is doing all those fun, ‘I don’t care if I break a sweat’, things.
Now don’t get me wrong I love my coffee and I love to have a good ol sit in a cafe with a nice coconut latte and writing. I love turning on the air-con sometimes, making myself a cup of tea, sitting on a soft cushion, watching a film. I dig all that stuff. BUT we can’t live on that alone. A life of lattes, sitting, air-con and TV is not a recipe for a fun, filled, ALIVE life. It’s a recipe for lethargy, aches and pains, unfulfillement, foggy brain and BLAH living. Who want’s BLAH living? I’ve done BLAH living a lot. I live in BLAH a lot, cause I get lazy and comfy. I think “I don’t wana get all dirty now, I don’t wana sweat, I don’t feel like riding my bike, UGH it’s too hot outside” YADIYA! So I stay inside and watch TV and veg out feeling worse and worse. It isn’t until I do venture outside that I realise what I had been missing out on. The sweaty fun part of life.
I’m going to make sure that I get my daily dose of the ‘sweaty fun part’ of life everyday! I realise that I let complacency and fear rule me too often. I don’t learn to surf cause I’m scared of sharks, I don’t go outside a lot cause it’s too hot or too cold or too rainy or whatever, but in the end it’s just excuses. When you venture outside you feel alive and you crave more.
I came back from outside feeling much, much MUCH better then I had felt beforehand. It was raining as the sun slowly set and I stepped onto the mat and did my daily yoga with the curtains open, enjoying the dim light and the drizzle of rain, feeling sweaty and ALIVE after the gardneing adventure.
I had helped my Mum and the time spent with her was good, quality time. I appreciated her so much more, having shared a part of her life and realised just how much work goes into keeping this land beautiful. I often take things for granted, heck let’s be real, I take people for granted! Up until the time I actually experience what they experience and do what they do, only then do I I realise just how much they do and how much they do for me and damn, that’s humbling.
There’s still so much out there to do and experience outside and I can’t wait to get out and amongst it. I dream of having my own vegie garden, maybe a few cows, chickens, dogs, cats, my own little log cabin….I don’t know how one would marry that with the life of an actor, but who knows, we shall see where life leadeth.
In the meantime, get yourself out there in the world and experience being ALIVE in life outside!