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Saturday 25 April 2009

A light show to revive the soul

"My own private light show", Nürnberg, 22nd April 2009

After working with the little ones on Thursday morning I travelled the ten kilometres across town and on to the S-Bahn to visit a stroke client. On the way home, despite being exhausted, I cycled the two kilometres from the Bahnhof (railway station) to my flat. It is up hill all the way, the last kilometre being extremely steep, especially steep for one of the tired over-fifties!

I always keep going to the top of this hill just so I can have the satisfactory feeling of having done it. But today I stopped, not because of lack of puff or wobbly knees, though I could feel the pulse on the side of my head pressing against my helmet and beating faster than it really should have been.

Pause for spiritual refreshment

I had stopped because of the amazing colours, the play of the evening sunshine on the pink of the city walls. There were the freshly painted spring-green leaves, bathed in glorious evening sunlight, and the two flags seen in the photograph, flying across an oppressive, dark Prussian-blue/black sky. The blue and white of the Bavarian flag seemed to be representing the colours of the sky that one would normally associate with such a lovely sun. Unfortunately I didn't stay to see the rainbow.

I had stood beside the city wall at Tiergartner Gate enjoying the “light show” a minute or two too long. The heavens broke and although only two minutes from home I got drenched for the second time this year by an April shower. By the time I was indoors the sun was out again and someone else a bit further along the road was getting a soaking.

I would have got to the top off the hill had it not been for the light show, despite being exhausted, the legs just keep on turning automatically after so many years of cycling and often it is easier than getting off and pushing.

Yesterday, Friday, I worked in three different groups, from 8.30 to 17.30, with an hour off for lunch. I was supposed to go to a concert in the evening but I missed it through falling asleep, still fully clothed, at 19.30pm and waking up this morning bright and breezy at 5.30am to the singing of the birds and the sunrise.

What does anyone else do to relieve the exhaustion from work? Do you sleep for 10 hours, or stop for five minutes halfway up a hill to admire the view and revive the soul? Do you paint, write a blog, ride a bike or watch the world go by from a street cafe?

How do you refresh your soul?

Has anyone got any tips to share, or maybe even a spot of magic that can be performed, to prevent or cure the physical and, even more importantly, the mental tiredness?

I am sure we all have our own ways of dealing with it.

I think it just as important for us to share the methods that we use to look after ourselves as it is to share the methods that we use in our work.

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