“Important as was the task upon which I was engaged, I all the time thought it of very minor consequence in comparison with the great main deeper interest of my life in which I was now absorbed.”
So wrote soldier, explorer, author and mystic Sir Francis Younghusband as, in later life, his thoughts moved away from considerations of the Empire and the Great Game towards a burgeoning interest in matters altogether more philosophical and spiritual. In short, his energies were directed at other interests and he couldn’t keep his mind on the job at hand – a situation in which I find myself at the moment.
To cut a long and quite tedious story short, about a year ago the company that I work for was bought out by a “business troubleshooter”. As far as I can make out, their expertise is to take an ailing business and, within a few months, turn it into a failing one – at least that is what they seem to have done for several other businesses in the recent past. Quite what the benefit of this USP is I have yet to discover. Suffice it to say morale is very low, and I find myself part of a highly de-motivated sales team.
As a result my thoughts, like Younghusband’s, have also been turned in other directions. In order to remain cheerful I’ve become more absorbed in the “deeper interest of my life” – walking. Over the years, no matter what life has thrown at us, being able to get out and about has been the most reliable stress-buster available; a chance to feel the exhilaration of scaling peaks or simply exalting in what Nature offers; to talk through problems or share companionable silence; to recharge the physical, mental and spiritual batteries. Solvitur ambulando, as they say in Latin – it is solved by walking.
Since the turn of the year we have done rather less walking than we would have liked, although there are reasons for that. We’ve managed to get out on a few occasions and have already racked up a few miles – not quite enough, though, to satisfy the increasing desire within us.
But the New Year is a time for resolutions. A weekend in Shropshire has provided the opportunity to notch up a few miles and re-focus my thoughts. One way or another the situation at work will change – that much I have resolved. And the good news is that there are going to be plenty of up and coming opportunities to get out into the countryside more often, some in the quite near future, so things are looking up in that respect, too.
Sometimes its good to have the chance to re-assess what is really important and what is just a “minor consequence in comparison”.