I Canoe Do You?

Friday morning and the pace has slowed; thank God! The end of the academic year is always challenging and chimp interactions are higher than normal, both at home and at work. I mentioned before that my family is blended with both my three children and my partner’s three children living with us for the majority of the time.

This morning was typical gorilla warfare: I could hear from the bedroom the rumblings of trouble; raised winging voices. My jaws immediately clenched; I’ve stated before, I am not at my best in the morning. And obviously this is not this first time I’ve had to deal with such an incident. I entered the kitchen as the youngest members of the troop were bickering over breakfast cereal. ‘Right. There’s enough cereal for everyone,’ I began but was soon interrupted. ‘But He always takes a giant bowl,’ someone moaned. ‘Yeah you do, I’ve told you to use the smallest bowl…’ and so the interaction continued but is too dull to report about here as my chimp while irritated managed the situation with moderate success. At least, there was no further fallout.

Today is not a normal working day. All eight of us are going away for the weekend, camping and canoeing on a canal. We all enjoy canoeing but not all of us are competent on the water. It has got me thinking about the book. I’m sure there’s something about rest, relaxation and sleep. I’m thinking that these three states do not mean the same thing to all of and we hold on to them with different values. For example, the youngest member of my troupe loves his tablet and gaming and I often have trouble removing it from him, while I really couldn’t think of anything I’d less like to do. Meanwhile, my partner is very sporty and often he is plagued by itchy; something I never have!

So what advice can The Chimp Paradox offer? The potential for the weekend to be successful is high. However, I’m sure there could be trouble in paradise…

Rest, relaxation and sleep comes under the subheading – Recuperation and rehabilitation. As I mentioned earlier it’s the end of the academic year, most of the children have experienced increased pressure due to end of year exams so we are all a little fatigued! Peters states that recuperation is much neglected when it comes to looking after oneself. Our work life balance has been out of balance but I’m hoping this weekend while address this. The question is, can we all recuperate: feel rested and relaxed in equal measure?

I write this while the house is blissfully empty. For me writing is a form of relaxation. Canoeing less so. But hey, the weather is good, the canal has no current, the scenery is beautiful, we have all the necessary equipment. In short, we are organised enough to let our chimps play and ourselves feel free from the normal constraints of life. If only life was a matter of plain sailing…





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