I could not help but notice the flurry of activity in the alley outside the window as I enjoyed my morning coffee. There was much more of a commotion out in the alley than the occasional delivery truck or people looking for returnable bottles. It completely had my attention. I noticed that the multiple dumpsters lining the lane were carelessly littered with garbage bags that some human had not taken the time to put inside the bins and consequently the crows and the pigeons were having a heyday.
The spoils of Christmas, a party perhaps with food and gifts and other assorted disposables were now a feast for the birds. They were fun to watch and though they moved faster than the shutter speed on my little camera I somewhat managed to catch them in action. At one point one of the pigeons had what was left of a piece of pizza in his beak. This was funny to observe but at the same time I wondered if it would give him or her indigestion and then I wondered do birds suffer from indigestion?
I know humans do suffer from indigestion and that this is a prime time for them to do so. In our well-to-do western world we tend to overdo it during this season not only with buying gifts but also in our eating and drinking habits. Everyone I have spoken with since Christmas Day has whined about having eaten too much. Too many meals, too much variety, too many sweets, too much cheese and just too much. I am not sure why I think that a required Christmas event is eating vast quantities of potato chips and onion dip. Most of the year I have the stamina and forbearance to restrict my potato chip eating behaviour to very special occasions but somehow at this time of year I think I deserve a treat. The funny thing is that other then the nice salty taste as they enter my mouth they are not a treat at all. My body despises them and yet I continue in participate in this ritualistic behaviour. Beyond the food issue there is the drinking. Again I have made or have heard many comments about the need to cut back on the wine or the beer for the next little while at least.
Most people I have encountered over the last few days have also complained about feeling tired, achy and not up to par. Maybe it is the increased lounging that is also a well practiced Christmas activity. Or maybe it is the change in routine that gets most people into a less than optimal state.
I am whining just like everyone. Every year I have the conversation with my family about trying to be more careful about how far we stray from our normal (fairly healthy) diet and activities and every year we come to the moans and groans about having consumed too much and not moved enough. We did go for a walk on Christmas day but it just did not make up for all the regular walks that we missed. Thus every year we end up having the conversation about what we are going to do to get back to a routine of eating well and moving more. What are we going to do so that we will return to our normal energy levels?
Just like watching the birds consume the garbage left over from Christmas it is funny to reflect on what we humans do to ourselves with such regularity. Maybe next year we will do better.
Irene McDermott © 2011