I went for an Enid Blyton-style ramble today, around the neighbourhood I am currently a member of. Despite the general German uncertainty regarding thongs as footwear, it was sunny and warm and I donned mine, my free-spirited feet thrilled not to be shoved into another constricting boot. As I rambled, down a neat forrest-edged path frequented by children on bicycles and watched over by four fat, red cows, I occupied my mental faculties by entertaining two notions, simultaneously; I mentally bashed the vile thieves who stole my camera and thus deprived me of multiple close-ups of fat, red cows, and I pondered the idea that one of the most soul enriching (and indeed underrated in the arena of soul-enrichment) things in life is fresh air. Clean, cool, fresh air. It tastes good. It feels good going in, swirling around our lungs, buzzing through our bloodstreams. I sat down on a bench, opened my mouth and inhaled lustily, kicking my be-thonged feet, even turning a blind nose to the ripe scents of nature (manure, mud, potentially something composting, I wasn’t sure). And it felt grand. Granted the experience was enhanced by the fact I was opposite a bubbling brook, birds tweeted overhead and occasionally the soft smack of some sort of nut dropping from its tree could be heard, but the act itself was simple, extraordinarily obvious and very universal. And, once I was done with the mental bashing of unidentified thieves, I turned my attention to the fact I could do with getting more fresh air. Nay, I could do with making the task of getting fresh air, part of my everyday.
As someone who spends a fair bit of time staring beadily at a screen and internally debating the merits of sentence structure and context, the amount of fresh air I get on a regular basis, is something that occasionally rears its head as something of concern to me. I’m no photo-synthesis deprived loon who blinks when sunlight seeps in through the crack between my curtains, but I do get carried away with projects – often several at once, because I’m a manic multi-tasker – and am prone to spending extended periods of time feverishly typing when I could be outside, in the fresh air. We all are, really, I suppose. Unless we’re PE teachers, or camp leaders or adventurers or farmers. So, rephrase, most of us are. And whilst the nature of most of our lifestyles requires we spend a lot of time indoors, it’s quite obviously easy to schedule in some Fresh Air Time. FAT time*, if you will.
So I have decided. I am going to breathe more. I am going to schedule in at least five minutes of FAT time a day. I am going to sit down somewhere, outside, with my computer out of sight, open my mouth and inhale lustily. Novel idea, I know. I’m full of them.
* I know the term FAT Time suffers from RAS Syndrome