Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weather Depression/Mindfulness/Colin McRae

Oh my goodness - look out the window, Joanne.  Do you see it?  Do you see the patches of blue in the sky?  Praise the Lord, we're saved!

The weather was awful yesterday, one of those days on Tiree when you just wanted to curl up on the couch and go to sleep.  Which I more or less did for an hour or so in the afternoon.  Lazy bum.

I wanted to go out running for a bit.  It just wasn't on.  Then I thought about a walk but I couldn't even get it together to put on my walking boots.

That kind of weather just makes you depressed, doesn't it?  All you want to do is sleep and eat.

Having said this, I did notice some of my crofter friends out working at fences.  Which just goes to show: a little wind and rain is not lethal.

I've been away from work for a couple of weeks now, a sort of sabbatical, you could say.  I've been using the time off to re-focus, think hard about the future and generally get my head together.

One of the things I've been working on is what I call 'mindfulness'.  Buddhists are heavily into this and that's where I picked it up from.  A few weeks ago - or maybe it was longer - I was waxing philosophical about 'who am I' ... something along those lines anyway. I think I mentioned at that point that many of us never live in 'the present'.  We're either taken up with thinking about the past or planning the future.

So this past wee while I've been working on living in the here and now.  One of the ways I've been doing this is by trying to exercise mindfulness along with whatever task I may be undertaking at the time.  So, when I'm driving the car I'm only driving the car.  When I'm loading the dishwasher I'm only loading the dishwasher. 

This means undertaking each and every task consciously, not automatically, becoming aware of where I am, what I am doing and how I am doing it.  This technique helps to centre you in the present - it does for me, anyway.

A major benefit of this is that you start to see common everyday objects, places and people in a new way.  Or perhaps not new but rather you start to see many things that have been taken for granted for so long  as if you were seeing them again for the first time.

I like what the French novelist Marcel Proust had to say on this subject: The only true voyage of discovery is not to go to new places, but to see with new eyes.

COLIN McRAE 1968 - 2007

So sad to wake up the news today that another of my 'Scottish Heroes', Colin McRae, died yesterday in a helicopter crash near his home in Lanark.  Colin's little son, Johnny, also perished, along with two others.  Colin was the first Briton to win the World Rally Championship, back in 1995.


Jen said...

The weather is something that never bothers me at all. i remember when i was five or so and we were living in alderside terrace it was raining and i looked out onto the street and it was empty and the house was really quiet. I have always associated the rain with a quiet, peaceful feeling. weird, eh?

J. Scott Cameron said...

hi gordon and joanne. the weather here is beautiful in guelph today. wonderful sunny late summer, early autumn day. you would love it here today...i even have tonnes of dishes for you to load / unload, wash, dry or whatever your pleasure. yes, you can wash the floors, toilets, windows, fold laundry, vacume too if you wish.