On Saturday morning nothing was as it usually is. Our monthly breakfast meeting with a friend was earlier than usual. Matthew had gone to bed very late after watching Roger Federer’s emotional farewell at the Laver Cup. He was feeling a little fuzzy headed from so little sleep, and he does like his sleep, so when the car would not start there was some cognitive dissonance. Lights came on, there was a click, but the engine did not turn.
“What’s wrong?” asked a confused Chantal.
Matthew tried again. And again. No luck. The lights came on but no-one was home.
“It’s the battery,” he said, “We’ll have to take my car.”
We rarely manage to get anywhere on time. Even this time, when we could have, we couldn’t. We were going to be late. Very late. The Kia had to be pushed out of the way in order to use Matthew’s car. The joys of tunnel parking.
We’re growing a geranium hedge of lots of different colours
Late & Dishevelled
We arrived late, a bit dishevelled but no-one really noticed. There was load shedding so no cappuccinos. The problems of the privileged, sigh. We ordered breakfast and after some delay due to a smoking kitchen trying out new equipment, it arrived. About to dig into her shakshuka, Chantal felt her phone vibrate.
“Oh hell! I forgot to order an Uber for my brother!” she groaned, “So sorry,” she said to her very flustered brother,” I will sort it out now.” She was only an hour late. Damn.
Back home, the AA came to sort out the battery but not before Matthew managed to pull the deltoid muscle in his right shoulder pushing the car into a safer spot.
In the end everything turned out alright
Sometimes things go wrong
Sometimes things just go wrong. Not massively, but in small incremental ways that wear you down. The whole week had been like that. Small, and some not so small, things that went wrong. No flow. Just lots of bouncing from rock to rock on the swiftly running river of life.
We entered Sunday feeling vaguely fed up and slightly demotivated. We walked. Sunday is a walking day. No excuses for Matthew either as he did not need to use his shoulder to walk. Getting out into the sunshine and moving does wonders for one’s state of mind.
It was curiously quiet. The world was staying put after Heritage Day* braais (a South African version of a barbecue but better) and rugby. A soft breeze cooled the air as the scents of syringa blossoms and yesterday, today and tomorrow blooms filled the atmosphere. The birds were busy. They chattered and called, cooed and cawed. It was clear that rain was needed. Grass verges looked tatty, plants, drooped and dust covered, bobbed in the mild draught.
For some unknown reason all the bees are super-aggressive at the moment. They’re a danger to us and others so we need to move them to a different place on our property.
Time to recalibrate
We used the time to recalibrate. To take notice of what was happening outside of us, to move our gaze from staring sorry for ourselves inward to feeling grateful for what we had.
Based on the time we had available and how we were feeling, we decided to forgo recording a podcast. We had completed our second season as planned but thought we would just keep going. There was no urgency, or rush, a break would do us good.
If we had recorded a podcast we would have been talking about the second pillar of emotional fitness, that of Moving. Our bodies are made to move, to stretch, carry, pull, push, run, dance. Movement is vital for building emotional fitness - it helps release the hormones and chemicals built up as a result of stress, anxiety, anger and fear. As our bodies get stuck so do we, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
There’s nothing like a good walk to feel better
Moving to feel better
Movement certainly allowed us to feel better. We were able to withstand the irritation of the car not starting again, while being thankful that the AA has a replacement battery offering. We managed to dash to Fournos for eats for a family tea and be ready for the gathering of three generations around a kitchen table to swap stories of travels, trip ups and happy life happenings.
When next you feel stuck, down or trod on, get up, get out and move it!
Until next time.
Yours in feeling,
Chantal & Matthew
About the author
5th Place offers specialised psychological services in the form of coaching and therapy for immediate relief from stress, anxiety, & other mental health challenges. It works fast, deep and quick. For individuals and groups, children, teens and adults.