Blasts from my past

Given that I now have nearly nine years worth of blogging to draw on I thought it might be interesting to reach back to some of my better posts and bring them back into the light of day! I am going to only do this once in a while and will tag them "pastblast".

First one is from June 2002

One step at a time
While climbing the hill last Sunday I was reminded again of how many life lessons there are in hill-walking - all those outward bound courses weren't so daft.

If when climbing a hill you are constantly looking up to see how far you have to travel and worrying about how far you have to go it can be an incredibly frustrating and enervating experience. If you are lucky each time you look up you will have seen small progress up what seems an interminably long and arduous slope. If you are unlucky that slope will have been a false summit and you will have an even bigger slope facing you after it. By constantly looking ahead and wanting to be higher up you are likely to spend the whole day annoyed and frustrated. This same effect applies to most tasks in life whether it is writing a book, managing a project at work or painting a room at home. If you worry about what you still have to accomplish and are focused on how little you have done so far then task can seem insurmountable.

The trick in all cases is to enjoy the moment. On the hill if you savour the sensations of each step - the movement of your muscles, the stretching and pulling, the warmth as they work - then the effort seems interesting and pleasurable instead of an interminable slog. If you enjoy the sensation of the environment around you - feel the crunching of the rocks under your feet, the cold slipperynesss of stone as you use your hands to steady yourself - you will be much more aware of the textures and colours around you and the infinite variety they represent. Instead of getting annoyed at the grass you are slipping on look closely at the different shades of green, the patterns of the intertwining grasses, the brightness and beauty of the wild flowers dotted in amongst the grass. All of this detail and interest focuses you on the moment and will mean that the next time you look up you will be amazed at how far you have traveled.

If you go into every event looking forward to when it is over or miss the pleasures of every moment because you are anticipating the pleasures of the next one then you will go through life incredibly frustrated. If we focus on the moment and the detail and wonder of our tasks then we can complete them with much less stress and possibly even enjoy the experience.