Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slow Running


I doubt that it’s possible to resist this inbred protestant work ethic, and its consequent guilt trip. I’m the guy who, for many observers, seemed so laid back that, even when standing upright, my spine must have been around 45 degrees from the horizontal and yet, this gnawing guilt persistently upsets me.

For the past few years, for health reasons, I’ve been unable to undertake any employment paid or voluntary, each day being so unpredictable, presenting the unexpected obstacle or fresh hope; physical and emotional stamina rarely coincide even on the best of days. A major regret is that, when I was enjoying better health, I pushed myself that bit too far; my current ability to pace myself, to subsist on a lower altitude plateau, does not come easily.

A very good day for me, these days, means running at as high as 35% of what would have been a quite sluggish activity level for me a few short years ago, and yet, I’m still plagued by guilt. I ought to be doing more; forget the fact that taking a shower is frequently a daily task too far, cleaning my teeth an effort too much when exhaustion suddenly overtakes me, I should be doing more; I should be out there earning an honest living.

Of course the media, and politicians of all persuasions, almost daily attack anyone living on disability or incapacity benefits as degenerate scroungers. If only some of that vitriol could have been spared to attack the greed driven recklessness of the banking fraternity, or the many hours wasted (and billions of pounds lost to treasury) by those working out ever more devious tax-avoidance schemes for those who already have more income annually than most of us can expect to earn in a lifetime, our economy might now be in a far healthier state.

Perhaps in a few months time, when I chronologically comply with / qualify for the Old Age Pension, the “guilt” will flee from me. Somehow that could be the time for freeing up; it’s currently difficult to admit that I’m enjoying being a gentleman of leisure, whilst I so wish for the energy to be running in a far less leisurely mode.

1 comment:

Penny said...

I know how you feel, Mal. I tend to feel angry frustration, more than guilt, for the inabilty I have to function at more than a snail's pace. Take heart, you deserve whatever the system gives you. I try not to think about the genuine leeches on our society, Pen.