Archives for January 2015

30Jan

Don’t Give Up Your Body

Your body is yours and nothing changes that.  You own it and you manage it, no matter what.  You cannot say “my job is so stressful that I have high blood pressure”.  You don’t own your job the way that you own your body.  Don’t invite an outside force inside that does damage!

Please don’t say “this job is making my blood pressure go higher.”  Or, “this job is giving me an ulcer.” Or, “Mexican food gives me heartburn.”  The only accurate way to express what is happening to your body is to say “I haven’t made the correct decisions to keep my blood pressure down.”  Or, “I don’t know how to reduce my ulcer pain.” Or, “the way to stop heartburn is to stop eating the food that causes it.”

It is difficult and perhaps very difficult to make our body happy, but it is well worth the effort.  It takes accountability to have a healthy body.  Note that I did not say beautiful or well formed, I said a healthy body.

Part of the challenge of maintaining health is that in our culture we equate youth and beauty with health, but in keeping with the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover” looks can be very deceiving.  I know young people who have never eaten anything but MacDonald’s and have very well formed bodies.  The well-formed body belies the fact that the body is unhealthy.

Most importantly, don’t surrender your body to any other force.  When you say that something outside of you is forcing your body into an unhealthy condition, you are, in effect, allowing that force to control you.

This is not to say that if you choose, you will be completely healthy forever.  It means that in so far as you are able, it is up to you to maintain and improve your health.  I recently watched a YouTube video with a young man who has Cystic Fibrosis.  He understood his disease and he understood that his role included taking responsibility for completing treatments every single day of his life.  No one can say that he could have done anything to avoid Cystic Fibrosis, yet he takes a very responsible role with his body and his disease.

It is not even possible anymore to blame your weight on the food manufacturing or restaurant industries.  You have to be illiterate and possibly even blind and deaf to not understand the connection between sugar, alcohol, animal fats, chemicals and a loss of health.

I believe that this is why so many people speak a language of irresponsibility – folks do not want to say, oh yes, it is I who have eaten and drunk to the point of disease and death.  Folks want to say, that it is someone else who did it to them.

Don’t be that person.  Be the person who stands up and says, my body belongs to me.  I am in charge of what goes into my body.  I am in charge of how active I am.  I am in charge of the chemicals that I ingest.  You can do everything in YOUR power to make your body healthy and live long enough to enjoy retirement and grandchildren.  Or if not that, then perhaps travel and friendship, it is up to you…All of it.

19Jan

No Rhyme, Nor Reason…

No Rhyme, Nor Reason…

I spoke with an anguished mother this morning, who told me “this isn’t fair, we are good people.”  She was recounting a story about how her landlord had collected rent from her family illegally, as the house she is living in was foreclosed on.  She has to move from her home today, with her disabled son and husband.  She has never missed a single rent payment.

I thought about all of the conversations I have with people about positivity.  Being personally positive sets up an expectation for positive results.  Sometimes, things just don’t work out that way.  It brings to mind a book that came out in the eighties titled “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”.  At the time, I thought the author did a good job of explaining some of the vagaries in life.  As with anything difficult, the point was to cope for the moment, to get through the moment so that one could go on.

I am an analyzer and I want a formula.  To get back to positive thinking, I want positive thinking to be meaningful and to control what happens in my life.  It does not.  Positive thinking won’t stop a hurricane, it won’t keep me healthy and it won’t guarantee that I get to keep and use all of the money that I have worked hard for, for all of my life.

I attach meaning to the work I have done in my life.  I want my past work to pay my way through my future.  I think this is a reasonable social contract and I have done all of the things that the prescribed formula advised me to do: I got an education, I got a steady job, and I worked and worked and worked.  I put money in the bank; I put money in the 401K.

All of our “choose-in” choices, by life design, are also “choose-out” choices.  Money in the bank can’t be spent on a child’s new braces (until you take it out of the bank) and time spent at work, cannot be spent at leisure.  I understand this concept completely.  I have had to choose between emergent needs on many occasions in my life.

What I missed, what I did not comprehend, is that at some point, all of those choices do work out to something in your life.  What I mean by this is that, if you are a person who has no competing interests in your life and that makes you able to put your money in the bank, then at some point you will probably have money in the bank.  The price you pay is “no competing interests”.  In other words, you have nothing to spend money on, no family, no partner and no children.

The reality of our material construct called life: is that, we have what we most focus on.  If we focus on our children, it is likely that our children will be around for our entire life.  As we have taught them to be concerned and to have compassion by giving those gifts to them, so they will also demonstrate those same gifts to us as we grow older.

Again, every “choose-in” has a corresponding “choose-out”.  In other words, we pay a price for all that we decide is important to us, because we are also relegating other things to unimportance.  When we choose to have children, we are also choosing a very large financial investment.

The unpredictability of life circumstance is that, no matter what choices we make, good, bad or indifferent, life can and does, intermittently, destroy it all.  That’s the problem.  That is the issue which terrorizes my analytical brain.  It is as if life mockingly laughs at my need to draw lines and to keep accurate spreadsheets.  Yes, yes, Mrs. Smith, we see that you are organized, but now you have been fired from your job and all of last week’s planning is for naught.  Or yes, Mr. Smith, we see that you have saved money and paid for your house, but now your daughter is sick and you must take out mortgages to pay for medical care to keep her alive.

We know that justice is a social construct.  We work hard to make justice real in our society.  We work very hard to mitigate the whim of life by purchasing insurance and being safe.  It matters that we take these precautions, yet it does not guarantee that life won’t happen.  Bad things do happen to good people.

As to choosing in and choosing out; I always did the best that I possibly could in every moment.  There are lots of things that I did not choose, good and bad.  As to positivity, it is what brings me through the changes and unpredictability of life, and then forces me to take the next step.

09Jan

Bruce Says:

Their personalities are apparent.

Their personalities are apparent.

I don't want to sit still.

They don’t want to sit still.

Grandchildren ———————-

Herding cats is much easier.

Herding cats is much easier.

They are so curious – the one year old walks around “What’s that?”

The other young ones can not keep their hands from touching and exploring anything and everything.

They are smart – they are much better at any computer or electronic device than I will every be.

They are strong – try and wrestle with them for 10 minutes – and you will know what I am talking about.  You will be ready to quit and they will just be getting started.

They are funny – “I can’t hear you” when their parents are calling them from another room to come and take their bath.

They are so loving – hugs, kisses and sitting on your lap are moments to be treasured.

I try and teach them what I know and at the same time I am constantly learning from them.

Last, but not least – they are so “Energetic” – being around them I try and absorb all the excess energy that I can.  It keeps me young.

Sorry Mr. Ponce de Leon, not you, but I have discovered “the Fountain of Youth”.

01Jan

All things in life ebb and flow with time, to be envious is to deny your own time.