Hello and welcome to Walk the Pod, your daily walking show where I take my podcast for a walk because I don’t have a dog, you take 10 minutes out of the day, to walk in nature and to pay attention to what’s directly in front of you.
My name is Rachel Wheeley, a comedian and human in the world trying to figure out how to be. Welcome to Series 24. Very, very excited to bring you this brand new series, a series which I’m recording while I’m off work. I am not working at the moment because I am sick.
Now I’m not 100% sick, not bed bound sick, but I was in hospital last week following some breathing difficulties I was having in the previous few series. Some of you pointed out to me at various points, Rach, you need to sort your breathing out because it’s getting a bit worrying.
And I’ve now had it sorted out but I’m resting because it takes a while to recover from surgery it turns out, despite my hopes that I would just bounce back and be back, completely better by this point. It’s not quite that simple. So I think I sound okay, I sound well but I’m I’m tired, I’m tiring easily. And so I’ve got to take it a little bit easy.
Leaving the flat
So I’m starting recording this episode in my flat and I’m going to open the front door now step out into my little patch of grass outside my flat and lock up, obviously, very important.
Got to lock up properly.
And here we are right now I am on the road, just outside my flat and proceeding towards the bike track. Very exciting to be going back towards my beloved bike track for the beginning of a brand new series. Welcome to walk the pod.
Welcome to Series 24
If you’re new to the podcast, welcome along. I’ve been Instagramming my butt off. So I hope that a few people have come to listen to the show having found my Instagram account. Social media can get in a bin obviously, but Instagram seems to be okay. It does seem to be doing my head in a bit less than some of the other ones. So I’m sticking with that.
Apologies for any coughing on the podcast
Now I’ve got to apologise in advance for any coughing and spluttering if that happens on the episode today. I’m not 100% better and still a little bit prone to the occasional coughing fit. But I’ll try and keep that to an absolute minimum, Poddies, obviously. How the devil are you. I hope you are having a good day – Monday the beginning of a new week. And as you can hear, the kids are out in the Wimbledon Chase primary school playground, whooping and hollering and running around, which is always lovely to hear.
It’s the most beautiful day in the world
It’s the most beautiful day in the world, the sun is shining.
And there’s lots of fluffy clouds in the sky.
Couple of vapour trails and there’s a little bit of a breeze as well. A little bit breezy today as I walk past a Type II mask on the floor. This is going to be the next problem we have to deal with is how we cope with all of the masks and all of the little tiny bits of lateral flow device tests that are all over the place now. Got to clean all of that up at some stage. Not the pandemic is over yet. But you know, it’s gonna be it’s gonna be an ongoing issue.
An oak tree, in bud
Walking under an oak tree, which has got some beautiful sticky buds on the end of all the branches. Which is exciting because it’s like, this is the new the new spring life that’s going to be exploding onto the scene in a few weeks time. So really, really exciting to see that. I was reading an amazing article by somebody called now can I remember her name? Beronda Montgomery who wrote this article, which was saying that in the winter, we get to see the naked trunks of the trees.
And what we can see from the naked trunks of the trees, is basically the history of that tree. The architecture of the trunk tells us so much about the trauma that that tree has suffered in the course of its life. And the point she was making is that trees don’t rush to heal from trauma, they take their time. Quite often, they’re trying to balance sort of protection of a wound from the environment with the sort of ongoing restructuring that it might want to do in order to avoid rushing to heal a wound to quickly and cause problems in the long term.
And I read that article on a day when I was considering whether I go straight back to work or not after my time in hospital, whether could I actually do a day’s work? I mean, I probably just about good. I read this article, and I was like, No, absolutely not. I need to take more time to heal because the the impact, the long term impact of rushing back to work could be significant in ways that I can’t really predict.
For those of you who who haven’t been following this entire story, I was suffering from some breathlessness. Like, for months and months I’ve been suffering from breathlessness and people listening to the podcast have noticed me taking this huge deep breath in the middle of sentences.
And it all came to a head a couple of weeks ago, and I went to hospital and was diagnosed with subglottic stenosis, which basically means my windpipe was narrow, which all stems back to an operation I had when I was 15 months old, apparently, which is absolutely insane.
But that apart from anything else that just goes to show that something can have a kind of a long term impact on your health.You know, I mean, it’s kind of, not really when you think about it. But apparently, that’s what’s happened.
Just walking past the end of Chatsworth Avenue in the Wimbledon Chase Conservation Area. Anyway, I wanted to welcome you all very warmly to a new series of the podcast. I’m so excited to be bringing you a new series, I’ve got some new things I want to include. In every episode of this series.
There’ll be 15 episodes, five episodes a week, Monday to Friday, daily walking episode for you. My challenge to you is to take a break from your desk at lunchtime. Use the podcast as a reason to get out the front door. Don’t listen to this podcast in your house. Tell yourself you’re only going to listen to this podcast whilst on your lunchtime walks. And I’m going to bring you Stoics on the Cycle Path which is the new What Would Marcus Do? For those who remember the series where we read from Marcus Aurelius Meditations everyday? Well, this series I am going to be adding in other Stoic philosophers. So I’m going to call it Stoics on the Cycle Path instead, that’s okay. And today’s Stoics on the Cycle Path comes from not Marcus Aurelius, but Lucia Seneca.
Stoics on the Cycle Path
This is from Lucius Seneca and is from a letter that Seneca wrote on friendship.
“I would encourage you to discuss everything with a friend, but first of all, discuss the person themselves. When friendship has just begun, you must trust before friendship is formed, you must pass judgement. Most people pass the judgement after the friendship is formed, violating the rules instead of making him their friend after they have judged him. Contemplate for a long time, whether you shall grant a person your friendship, but when you have decided to allow it, welcome him or her with all your heart and soul.”
So Seneca goes on to talk about in his letter, the idea that you should talk to your friends as you talk to yourself. Now in order to talk to your friends, as you talk to yourself, you need to choose very wisely the friends you wish to keep because friends not just everybody we meet, you know, Facebook would tell you that friends are anyone you’ve ever met, or random people that you have worked with 20 years ago, you know, all of this thing, but actually actual friends like real friends, we need to be quite discerning about who we decide to have as our friends. And arguably, I think Seneca saying we need to spend quite a bit of time deciding whether someone is going to be our friend or not, before we decide that they are going to be joining, joining us in that in that way, and then sort of throw yourself wholeheartedly into it. I think it’s the point he’s trying to make. Which is interesting.
You know, the modern world kind of suggests that we just sort of casually make acquaintances and all of those people are our friends. But Seneca is arguing that we need to be a bit more careful.
What We Do in the Shadows
And I’ve been watching a brilliant TV series recently called What We Do In The Shadows, the Walk the Pod walking club is actually going to be watching what we do in the Shadows, the film, which is a 2014 film on Friday evening, this week, but I’ve been watching the TV series as well, because I’m saving the film for Friday Night Film Club having not seen it before. And in that series is an energy vampire. And I’m fascinated by this idea.
Now the energy vampire in What We Do In The Shadows is called Colin, and is the kind of classic Energy Vampire, a white balding, middle aged man who bores people that he’s talking to, to death, literally, with his tedious conversation now, I would argue that there are many other kinds of energy vampires. Or you could say Emotional Vampires out there people who, people who are extremely charismatic.
Charismatic energy vampires
So it’s, it’s not always boring people to death, you can be an extremely charismatic energy vampire. I think the thing that classifies energy vampires to me is somebody who has lots of problems and takes responsibility for none of it, putting all of those problems onto other people who have let them down in various ways.
And those people will continue to find that people let them down. And something which I’ve been very interested in over the last couple of years is the extent to which there are people you meet, who for whom nothing is a problem, they make heavy weather of precisely nothing at all. Nothing that you do, can possibly bother them, nothing that happens to them can possibly bother them.
And they find ways of exploring. They find ways of exploring the joys available in the situation available to them, as opposed to dreaming of joys in a situation that they are not placed in. And then there are other people for whom the things I do as a casual acquaintance are very problematic to them, they make very heavy weather, if at all, this is terrible thing that you’ve done, oh, you’ve really let me down, you’ve really made everything awful, you’ve ruined my life.
And then, it’s just interesting that that there are some people for whom that is never something they would say, and other people for whom that is always something they would say. Thus, we find ourselves surrounded by emotional and energy vampires.
And I think it’s, it’s just, it’s just fascinating that Seneca, writing 2000 years ago, knew about this, and has written it all down for us to read. And yet none of us really are aware of it. So that’s just something to think about. Today.
That’s your stoics from the psychopath section today.
Get in touch
If you have any thoughts about that, you can email me: email@example.com, you can go to walkthepod.com you can press the button marked message and you can leave me 59 seconds of your beautiful voice on friendship, emotional Vampires or anything else is makes you think of and I’ve managed somehow in a way that has completely broken my WhatsApp account, but I’ve managed somehow to put my WhatsApp account on my Instagram so if you want to send me a voice message, which is longer than 59 seconds of your beautiful voice. You can go to @walkthepod on Instagram, press contact, choose the WhatsApp option and you can leave me a voice note there.
This may have put my mobile phone number on the internet for all to see. I’m not entirely sure. It’s certainly broken my WhatsApp account because it now won’t let me into the original WhatsApp account. I’m only allowed into the business WhatsApp it down. But look, I love you guys and it’s worth it. Okay, so leave me a voice note via WhatsApp if you’d like to.
Well, I’ve walked most of the length of the cycle path and most of the way back and I feel fine. So that’s very good. I think that’s a very good start, I apologise again, for coughing, spluttering and generally not being quite 100% on this episode, but I’m keen to bring you this new series. And I think it’s worth pushing through any sort of temporary problems in order to get the new series up and running.
A formal invitation to join the Walk the Pod walking club
So thank you so much for walking with me. As ever. I want to make a formal invitation to you to join the Walk the Pod walking club because it’s ideal to get in at the beginning of a new series so you can take advantage of the new series energy that there is on the Discord server, go to rachelwheeleyisfunny.com and join up on the walking club for daily Lens clips behind the scenes of The Walking of the podcast. For access to the Walk the Pod Discord server, where you can chat to walkers all over the world and seasonal postcards from the cycle path which I have posted this morning to everyone in this in the walking club in the moment but it is not too late. He joined up today. I will send you your very own seasonal postcard from the bike track today.
Take care of your beautiful mind.
I have a an Eleanor Roosevelt, quote to leave you with which is “Happiness is not a goal. It’s a byproduct of a life well lived.”
I’ll speak to you tomorrow