This post is about relaxation. We all need time to rest, rejuvenate and restore our balance.
I recently took time out with my good friend, Peter, to drive up to the Temora Warbirds Downunder Air Show. We escaped the city air and watched some fantastic flying by Australian War Birds such as the Mustang, P40 Kitty Hawk (with a Merlin Rolls Royce engine), and a couple of Spitfires. And, for the first time, the famous ‘Bent Wing Bird’, the FU-4 Corsair. There was also a Grumman TBM Avenger, and of course the famous ‘Black Cat’ Catalina and the long serving (now retired) Caribou; along with a couple of F/A-18s and the Air Force Roulettes, and more.
For more information about Temora, the Aviation Museum and the Warbirds Downunder Air Show, check out their website – Temora Aviation Museum.
So there was plenty to see, and it was great listening to those amazing sounds coming from the Merlin engines and the radials on the Wirraway, the Boomerang, Boeing Stearman and the Ryan. Being on the aerodrome at Temora, which was a WW2 Air Force training base, I could relax and take in the sounds and sights, and smell the Avgas. I could sense my mind drifting back to work stuff, but I refocused on what was happening around me, to stay present and enjoy the moment. I also realised later on how much I need to do more of this relaxation thing!
So you’re wondering what this has got to do with men’s health. Remember the opening statement about taking care of yourself, well that’s what we did. It was a bit of drive from Melbourne to Temora, about six hours, but that gave us time to take in this great country, even though it’s looking dry, with some crops ready for harvesting. The drive gave us time to chew the fat, talk about aircraft and life.
Although we were only gone for a day and a half, I felt as if I had been away for days. So taking time out doesn’t have to be a fully planned trip, with a passport, it can be going away for a few days, or a weekend to re-charge the battery, which can do wonders for health and wellbeing. It can give you a chance to reflect on what you might need to do regularly to take care of yourself. I will admit to not doing this enough and my wife, Fiona, will attest to that.
In part, this post was inspired by an article written some years ago by Sylvia Silk. In her article, The Silk Touch – Who’s going to take care of you if you don’t?, she wrote about how we can let ourselves go through neglect, leading to breakdown, and then having to deal with the task of restoration. Taking action to restore yourself, if you don’t take time out, requires maximum time, effort, and money.
Sylvia also wrote that your total being is composed of three major areas: physical health, mental function, and spiritual unfoldment (whatever that means for you and whatever nourishes and supports you).
What this means is that we all need to give ourselves permission to rest, relax, play and enjoy life. Some men can become caught up in working and providing, taking care of the family, so that they may forget about themselves. When you “filleth your cup” (keep yourself healthy and balanced), there is something of value to draw on when you want to give to others. You are motivated from the heart to take care of the things you love.
Loving yourself means treating yourself with respect and generosity. Your ability to take care of others is limited by the degree to which you take care of yourself! If you continue to take care of others at the expense of yourself, resentment may kick in and resentment can eat away at your soul. It’s better to say no, step back and take time out to rejuvenate and replenish yourself.
So how well are you taking care of yourself? Do you need to improve?