My wife constantly bemoans the fact that I am not a team player. This normally occurs when we are doing a job together and I do not follow her direction unquestioningly.
But she has a point. I have my own cock-eyed view on life, handed down by my equally cock-eyed father and grandfather. Much of my home-spun philosophy is not shared by much of humanity and so I tend to go it alone.
The conventional wisdom on giving up cigarettes, for example, is to seek help, whether it is from friends and family or from patches and drugs. For years, I insisted on giving up secretly, reasoning that if I told anyone and I failed, then the other person would be disappointed. However, if I told nobody, then I could fail without fear of my own discouragement spreading.
It should be pointed out that the time I actually succeeded in giving up, nearly seven years ago now, I actually got the family to camcorder my final fag for posterity. This should have taught me something but it didn’t.
The onset of my forties, giving up the weed, the purchase of a car and the move to a more sedentary job led to my weight mushrooming for the first time in twenty years. Slowly the pounds, then the stones increased (sorry, I’m not being deliberately archaic but kilograms is the one decimilisation I’ve never got my head around) until it’s fair to say I’ve been constantly struggling with my weight for a few years now.
Mostly this struggle has consisted of me not bothering to weigh myself, a strategy that works so far, but doesn’t account for the niggly feeling in my head that I’m really only fooling myself. For a time I tried jogging but apparently my cheap Shoezone runners weren’t really meant for that kind of punishment and I got very painful shin splints, which made me even less physically active than I was before.
Even this year, I decided I would go for a good hour’s walk every day and what happened? The worst weather for a quarter of a century.
I think I detect the answer here. When I am sick, I will take over-the-counter remedies or hot whiskies or wear layers of clothing to sweat the illness out of me. Honest to goodness homespun philosophies. However, occasionally, there comes a time when I have to admit I need a little help and I go down and see the doctor.
The same might well be true for my expanding waistline. I’ve tried the salads for lunch and the brown bread and the jogging and the walking and perhaps the time has come for me to admit that I can’t do it on my own. Whether I join a gym or go infrared or start swimming or enjoy regular irrigation of my colon, I haven’t yet decided.
One thing’s for sure – I appear to be somewhat spoiled for choice.