I’ve just driven my youngest son and step daughter to school.
In a rare pre-teen occurrence she seemed happy to talk to me (and even acknowledge my existence).
She was telling me she thought they were going to church that afternoon for a carol concert.
I asked if she was doing anything particular in it – singing, playing an instrument, etc.
I commented that that was often a change from Junior school to Senior school.
Nearly everyone involved in most school stuff to some degree in Juniors.
Much more optional in Seniors.
And I remembered a play that I did in my first year of Seniors.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
By Bertolt Brecht.
Super abridged, it’s about two women who both claim ‘mothership’ of a boy called Michael.
My sister, who was doing GCSE drama and is now a drama teacher, played the main part of the non-biological mother Grusha.
I was “The Big Boy”.
Because I was big.
My friends Simon Betteridge, Laurie Baker and Danny Buckle were on rotation as ‘The Fat Boy’.
Betty (Simon) was then called ‘Fatty’ for the rest of school with few knowing the origin of the name (he wasn’t remotely fat).
In the final scene of the play, the judge, Azdak, orders Michael to be placed in a chalk circle and both mothers to pull on him.
“The true mother, Azdak states, will be able to pull the child from the centre. If they both pull, they will tear the child in half and get half each.”
The biological mother seems happy to, you know, murder her child.
Grusha not so much.
You know, because, she’s not mental.
The judge gives Michael to Grusha because she obviously cares more about the child.
The plan worked.
But, let’s face it, it was a rubbish plan.
Just because a plan works, doesn’t mean it’s a good plan.
Something we fail to realise sometimes.
We develop ways of doing things that work…………..
At least in some ways………….
And keep doing them………….
Even though they’re not really the best plan.
Or even a particularly good one.
We develop ways of eating that don’t serve us well.
That might be convenient and enjoyable in the short term…………..
But lead to a net loss in energy levels, happiness, mood and more.
We keep doing them because we’re used to them.
We’ve practiced ourselves pretty efficient at it.
Even though the better plan isn’t really all that much more effort.
The effort mainly being in the ‘change’.
If we’d made those changes years ago, we’d be massively up on the deal.
And, if we’re tactical, we can probably do it with no actual increase in physical effort.
Only our internal resistance to that perceived ‘restriction’ to challenge.
We’ve developed plans over the years that kinda work.
In some ways.
But, like relying on one person not being a pyscho that would happily tear a child in half, they’re not really all that good a plan.
This Christmas shall we try a better plan than previous years?
One that still involves enjoying what we do, just as much.
But doesn’t lead to that net loss in energy levels, happiness, mood and more?
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Jon ‘Notorious B.I.G.’ Hall
RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!