When we are children our health is often low down the agenda, and even out of our comprehension. I generally hated healthy food and any exercise. Additionally I wouldn’t say that I loved school. I didn’t hate it either. My grades were fine. It was just that I had other activities I preferred doing. Finally as a child, despite enjoying my leisure time, I don’t think I ever appreciated those great days enough.
Fast forward to my twenties and after my university graduation; health, learning and leisure took a back seat. I’d wake up early, go to work in the office Monday to Friday 9-5, eat and sleep. Even after going self employed I’d spend every waking hour planning and executing how to earn enough money for my survival.
The idea of health, learning and leisure time was pure ideological bliss. My reality just wouldn’t allow for such luxuries.
Following those days of graft I’ve been fortunate to now earn a survival income, contribute on fulfilling social issues, travel the world, and to have met the love of my life.
Still, only this year I finished another round of fighting for my basic needs due to my disability. With the ILF closing I’ve had to transfer my care funding to my Local Authority. With my weakening balance I’ve had to adapt my wheelchair. With the Motability rules I’ve had to be assessed and fitted for a new car. With a relocation from London to Cambridgeshire I’ve had to arrange house purchasing and adaptations.
Recently I’ve seen the importance of these three areas more than ever. Maybe it’s due to the ageing process (as well as my having a more wise and worldly maturity, of course!) Maybe I needed years of being so busy to then appreciate these points. Maybe they are only possible with the grinding out of the basics first.
Whatever the reasons are, I’m really proud to share this realisation with you:
1) For health I’m now looking after my physical-self better with diet, sleep and physical exercise (including the use of the Schuman platform and starting swimming this autumn). I’m also looking to start a wheelchair football team in Cambridge.
2) With the area of learning; I’m reading more books than ever. I’m studying Spanish at a local adult learning centre. Most of all I’m trying to learn something new everyday from other people. For example today Srin has explained why sometimes failure is good when growing and perfecting Accomable.
3) Regarding leisure I’m trying to get out of the house more often and join Kasia for bike rides. We regularly go 6 miles a day. The fresh air and bumping into familiar faces has made me feel great. We also do enjoy a nice restaurant and of course the odd trip abroad (but who doesn’t!?).
I need to impress that these are not instead of work, family, or any other vitally important matter. But they are areas we should all prioritise.
Believe me. With improved health, new knowledge, and more fun/happy times; we are more valuable to society and more productive too.
What are your thoughts on this article? Do you value health/learning/leisure as much as you’d like to? How do you ensure they are seen to?
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