Mrs Lancashire Yogi is one of those women who simply (in Lancashire Yogi’s eyes) do too much. Some days, he watches her with awe as she builds Rome all in one day, and then goes on to do the same everyday. She is one of life’s doers. Amazingly energetic, a whirlwind in action – she is a master of the multi-task, and a harnesser of the herds of cats that we all call ‘life’.
In many ways, we are all a bit like Mrs Lancashire Yogi. Ok, with the exception of Lancashire Yogi! When he reflects on their relationship and their approach to life Lancashire Yogi has been known to describe his missus as being like Captain Cook to his Aborigine. Let me explain before I get hordes of irate emails and posts from off-ended people who are feeling that this description is inappropriate. In fact, picture this. It’s a metaphor, and may not be a factual account but it’s used purely to illustrate the difference between the ‘Yogi and his missus.
Captain Cook, has sailed the seven seas, found new lands, names new islands, discovered new foods and captured treasures for his queen beyond the realm of imagination. He lands off the coast of Australia, and with his men, rows ashore. He clambers over the rowing boat and walks up the beach, determined to find new lands, name new islands, discover new things and foods, and treasures a plenty. And there on the beach beside the warm glowing embers of the fire, he comes across an aborigine who is playing his didgeridoo and relaxing. Cook is desperate and uses a mix of sign language and drawings in the sand to ask where everything is, what resources there are here, and how he can get to them. The Aborigine, stops his didge playing, pokes an ember with a stick, leans back against the palm tree and shrugs his shoulders. Then he gestures to Cook to join him by the fire. Frustrated Cook stomps off with his men to search for treasure, food, resources and a new world. Weeks later Cook and his crew return, overheated, dehydrated, tired, hungry, thirsty, irritated, desperate to get back on their boat, and eager to tell the world about their discoveries. Cook spies the Aborigine, different tree, different fire, same Didgeridoo, with friends laughing, singing and enjoying the moment. Cook tuts and cant be bothered to approach the man and his friends and instead cajoles his crew to jump back into the rowing boat, and they row off to their ship. Months later they are back in England greeted to a heroes welcome, feted and celebrated as lords of the high seas, discoverer of new lands, and new treasures. Meanwhile back in Aus’, our kind and friendly fella under the palm tree is jamming with his friends round the fire, enjoying life and enjoying the moment.
This illustration typifies Lancashire Yogi and his missus in extremis. Lancashire Yogi likes nothing better than relaxing, playing music, finding himself and connecting with nature. Mrs Lancashire Yogi loves nothing better than finding new lands, and discovering jobs to do, and throwing herself into the job with a great vim and vigour. Lancashire Yogi is the Aborigine, Mrs Lancashire Yogi Captain Cook.
It’s without a doubt, that albeit, with a few glitches along the way, Captain Cooks’ discoveries and journeys have, over time, been of great benefit to life, the world, and everyone in it. And it is without a doubt, that the Aborigines were the original eco-warriors living an interconnected life at one with nature and in contentment.
There is always a downside for both. Captain Cook and his crew, probably upset a lot of good folks around the world and probably stole a fair amount of the discoveries he made. He probably got his share of aches and pains, and frustrations and upsets. The Aborigine, didn’t ‘do’ that much. Nothing new was discovered, humanity probably wouldn’t have evolved, new insights were not found and new knowledge left uncovered.
So both ways of life, have considerable benefit as well as risks and pitfalls.
One common feature of both ways of life however, was that both Captain Cook and the Aborigine found time for themselves. Admittedly in different ways, and for different times, but Cook, had his Sunday ‘day of rest’ and the Aborigine spent time with himself at rest. The only improvement to this was that Cook probably needed more time to recreate, and less ‘do, do, do’ and the Aborigine probably needed less time to re-create and a bit more ‘do, do, do’.
When Lancashire Yogi looks around at people like his Missus rushing around doing a gazillion things to do, and then ponders why and how he manages to be so ‘laid back’ and chilled, he wonders whether we could do things differently, and like Cap’n Cook and the Aborigine – we could perhaps given ourselves a bit more time to return to who we are, and ‘be’ and a bit more time to ‘do’ more. On reflection, it is about finding a good balance between doing too little, and doing too much.
As much as the energy and effort of the Victorians created a thriving and successful ‘British Empire’, and with it the many benefits and costs – one thing that Lancashire Yogi thinks that they really nailed down was the concept of ‘recreation’. All over England are the remnants of ‘recreation parks’ and ‘recreation grounds’ – beautifully tended municipal parks where people would walk, picnic, play tennis, go rowing on the lake, if there was one, play bowls, listen to the band in the bandstand, and generally relax and come back to themselves.
When Lancashire Yogi was a youngster he and his friends used to go to a ‘recreation ground’ – to play tennis and kick a football around. It took him a few years to realise that when his friends said, “lets go down to the ‘rec” they didn’t mean a visit to a beached sailing ship, wrecked inland, but the recreation ground.
Anyhow, Lancashire Yogi likes this concept – and thinks it needs to be revitalised. He also thinks it would help us rekindle the meaning of recreation, if we were to break down the word from ‘recreation’ to ‘re’-‘creation’. It would remind us that we are spending time to re-create ourselves.
In a blinding light of insight, Lancashire and his missus have realised that they need to get off the treadmill of chores, and tasks a bit more – and have some time for themselves – a bit of down time, – non-directed, not task-drive – just time to ‘be’, and re-create who they are. Energy experts might say it’s time to re-charge the batteries but Lancashire Yogi thinks it’s more than that – it’s time to come back to who you are and not be buffeted by the external demands that are either placed on us by others or that we place on ourselves.
You might find this a totally new idea, or indeed, you might have been doing this for years – either way, Lancashire Yogi and his missus are going to be doing a bit of selfing and re-creating and seeing where it takes them. Hope you join us.