They say a dog’s never too old to learn new tricks. I think there’s also an old proverb about not asking a question if you don’t want to hear the answer. Although I may have paraphrased there.
Whatever, I think I’m about to put the first one to the test. At the same time I may either disprove or wish I’d paid heed to the second.
So, to stop talking in riddles, a few months ago I asked my partner what he’d like to do for his mid-summer ‘special’ birthday. The answer took him a while to formulate precisely. But it was one which I could easily have foreseen had I actually allocated a few brain cells to it before opening my mouth.
Given carte blanche, what would one who has a love of walking, no interest in lying on a beach, a fascination for modern history particularly European, and a strong affection for German beer with its purity law, be likely to want to spend a holiday doing?
Yup, we’re off on our first long distance walk to Germany, taking in a lot of second world war and cold war history on the way. Mercifully, my dodgy shoulder has been taken into consideration. I can happily report we’re not having to carry all our luggage with us along the way. Thanks to its circular nature and the efficiency and economy of the public transport system, we’ll be using the spokes of a wheel model. Each day we’ll travel from our static central accommodation to wherever we stopped the previous afternoon (or evening!).
I’m writing this standing on slightly sore feet after a training walk two days ago … in itself I don’t find it a bad sensation as, every time I move, I’m reminded I actually achieved our daily target. It’s that little voice in my head which annoyingly reminds me I’ll have to do it on twelve consecutive days which wipes any sense of smugness off my face!
Looking optimistically, perhaps my wee feet will become hardened to their daily toll. And what could be nicer than being out in the fresh air, surrounded on many days by lush green countryside, stopping occasionally for some continental sustenance and a chilled local beer?
The pessimistic voice in my head suggests that, as there’s no detailed guidebook for where we’re heading, perhaps nowhere available en route to find that delicious local sustenance? In true British fashion, I also have a slight niggle as to the weather. Warm and dry would be good. Flooding or extreme heat for days on end, really not so.
In order to close before I share any further negative thoughts which might lead to any last minute wobbles, I’ll finish where I started and remind myself of the importance of keeping open minded regardless of age. And there’s always that other proverb to misquote about love which always seem to transpose as well for effort. The one about it being better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all … wish me luck!
This column appeared in our Spring 2023 newsletter. If you would like future editions of our quarterly workplace wellbeing newsletter sent directly to your inbox, please sign up here.