This weeks (yes I aiming for weekly now!) blog was inspired by a post by English mum about being happy because of other people’s successes. So you may be wondering what the hell has this got to do with religion? A tenuous link at best right? Well I really am not a religious person, sure I’m a classic hypocrisy where I find civil wedding ceremonies just weird, but I’m not convinced by the whole god story and assign some credence to the conspiracy theories (see Dan Brown!). But despite all this I actually think I live a relatively Christian life.
This fools family values
As fatherhood rapidly approaches (half way now), I started to take more interest in how children are brought up and the opportunity I have along with the current lady of the manor to instill our version of family values. inevitably this is a mish mash of the values we were brought up under adapted based on our view of the world. So what do I think’s important and what do I want to make sure my children learn from day 1?
1. Family comes first
For me family is the most important, I could be quite content spending all my free time with my wife, dog, children (soon) and the occasional visit from siblings and parents. I come from a big immediate family (3 brothers and a sister) and my wife grew up with all her cousins and aunts and uncles living in the same village. So we both love family life, what can be better than a roast dinner with family followed by a walk with dogs and kids? If its a lovely autumn or winters day then perfect!
Kind of linked to the first one, but I am a strong believer in marriage. Its not the be all and end all and I know that kids can be better off being brought up by a single parent, but in my opinion marrying someone you love and brining up children in that environment gives the best opportunity to them. It seems that marriage has lost some of its credibility in recent years as people seem to get married with any boyfriend/girlfriend of more than 6 months, without really thinking about if this is the person they truly want to get old and wrinkly with.
3. Eat well , be happy
It may seem like a strange value but good food equals healthy, happy people. I LOVE food, I love trying new things (have you tried pork knuckle? Yum!), cooking recipes for the first time and best of all sharing good food with friends. Food can bring such happiness and if you eat well you feel well in body and mind. Now, to be clear, I’m not saying we should all eat rich food, with cream and butter added to everything. Then you’d have a heart attack and definitely not be healthy! But a balanced diet, with a mix of healthy and unhealthy food can only be good for you. If you eat a lot of junk food you’ll inevitably have health issues and fell unhappy, on the flip side if you force yourself to eat salad everyday and never anything even remotely naughty then I pretty sure you’ll also be un happy. Moderation people is the way forward!
As some of you may know, I’m a bit of an exercise freak and run every day to work and back. I take part in adventure races including the fabulous rat race and have done a few half marathons. The long suffering lady of the manor has been worn down by this for the last 11 years and from someone who pretty much hated exercise now also ENJOYS going for a run. That is go for a run because she wants to not because she feels she has to. Exercise of course gets you fit and healthy, but also its good for mental health. Going for a run blasts away the stresses and strains of the day and you come back feeling refreshed. But I know running isn’t for everyone, so you need to find what works for you. What can you do that will get you out a few time each week? It could be as simple as walking to the take away rather than getting delivery! But you have to find something that excites you and you’ll keep doing for more than 6 weeks. Instilling this enjoyment of exercise early is clearly something I’m going to try and do with my children. Be it a walk in a forest to kick some leaves or playing rugby every saturday.
Life is complicated enough without having to keep lies going to family and friends, of course you have to be subtle in how honest you are sometimes, but being open with your family about how you are feeling etc can avoid an awful lot of headaches. I honestly can’t stand all the gossiping and back stabbing that can go on sometimes, I try not to judge people and take them as I see them (not so easy in these days of x-factor, one look at twitter on a saturday night will tell you that). In return I like to think I’m pretty open and honest with people, good or bad what you see is what you get with me.
So I started this rambling talking about religion, when you look at my family values I don’t think its unreasonable to say that they are christian like. I don’t plan to start attending church any time soon, but if there is a god (there isn’t of course, Darwinism people) then I would hope that he/she/it would judge me positively.