Out here in the middle, also known as the 'Shires, it is believed that life is a little more easy-going than the cut and thrust of the concrete jungle. Not only are the views from our windows very different but also are our hobbies and pastimes, expectations of socialising, meeting people and most of all self-image. I understand that no matter where you go there will always be well dressed people and ones that preen themselves, what I am trying to say is, maybe in the city it is the done thing to be a little more self-aware than in the country. Maybe the surroundings dictate a lifestyle regimen that must be adhered to at all costs.
Here where I live if you put on a couple of extra kilo's you can get away with it because you most likely will put on a bigger sweater and enjoy the little bit of spare tyre as protection from that wind howling across the field as you walk the dog. But in the graying urban landscape surrounded by a mass of perfect bodies you will invariably go on a crash diet and hit the spin class three times a day.
So I suppose what I am getting at in a roundabout way is would I have been a different size if I had gone to work in a city and lived there too?
I know we will never now know, obviously my coming procedure will rob us of that information ;-) but I have wondered about this since the piece I wrote for my "worlds biggest fridge magnet" blog. Titled "A Quantum Of Solace" it spent the bulk of its text extolling the virtues of the countryside where I live and the fact that I love to spend time there, breathing slowly and listening to absolutely nothing. A place where I can catch my breath and relax whilst decompressing about life's stresses and strains. My life here in the 'Shires is not 100 mph by any stretch of the imagination. I have my moments and I have very busy days where fitting everything in sometimes requires me to burn the midnight oil, but then that is something that could be said of anybody regardless of geography
I nearly did live in London. I had the job there and commuted each day either by car or bus, but I just never felt like I fitted in. It always struck me as too busy, no matter where I went. People moving in their own private bubbles all-knowing what they were doing and simply getting on with because they don't have time to fit life in if they dawdle like this country boy does. In the morning the rush is to get to work then at lunchtime to get a sandwich then after work to get to the gym then after a couple of drinks to get home exhausted, just in time to eat before bed and repeating it all again the next day.
Wash Rinse Repeat.
All this time only barely seeing the beauty of the world go by and getting time to take it all in. Always living by the routine that works so that when the weekend comes it can be used to party or visit the countryside although once there, it is more often than not bypassed as heading to a smaller city to have lunch and shop is more familiar.
Nowadays I firmly believe I am in the right place for my brain and body type and am fairly certain I would have been a different size if I had moved to the city. I would have done the gym and the sandwich grabbing, had the "got to get there as soon as I can" attitude and never really found myself relaxing like I am able to here.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying if I lived in the city I would never relax or feel the sunshine on my face. I would still do all of these things but imagine it would need to be to a schedule and that's something that I could never work to in the country.
There are gyms out here in the sticks, I used one for years but I never felt like it was for god's sake that I get there. I am lucky enough to be the kind of person who decides that instead of taking a trip to the gym I will take the dog for a walk and take in the countryside, feel my surroundings and then walk back home without a shred of guilt about not using my monthly membership to sweat off those couple of extra kilo's. I have been living and experiencing and if in the end it has meant I now carry several extra stone then in that respect, I think it could have been worth it.
But I suppose we will never know now will we...