Friday, January 9, 2009
Living Well really Is The Best Revenge
Title catch your attention? I hope so.
I uploaded these pictures from my files because they show animals expressing their joy in living. I bet they made you smile. Unlike us, animals live in the moment and they make the most of it. They get the business of survival done and then they have FUN. We humans, living as we do in complexity and perplexity sometimes lose the joy and find it tricky to recapture it. This Blog is about joy and the pursuit of it. The revenge part doesn't come until the end.
I was walking one of my dogs this morning which is one way I have of expressing my joy in living and suddenly for no particular reason the slogan "Living well is the best revenge" popped into my head. I was passing another one of those empty McMansions at the time and I thought, but what does that very 80s slogan mean anyway? Most folks would say that living well is owning one of those big showy houses and maybe a Mercedes or a Maserati , selecting an expensive bottle of wine from the wine cellar, buying designer clothes or a boat or an airplane or a second home in Vail. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things they are things and the acquisition of things alone will not make you happy. I know that from past personal experience. So what does bring happiness? Not the pursuit of luxury. Living well.
What is living well? Assuming that a person has the basic necessities of life in place: a secure roof overhead, enough food and funds to pay the necessary bills and a reasonable expectation of not being killed by a terrorist living well concerns the following as proposed by a woman after walking her dog on a Friday morning:
1.Living well is taking care of that wonderful bio machine that is the human body. Providing the body with the right sort of fuel to keep it functioning smoothly means not eating high fat low nutrition fast food at nearly every meal. Go ahead and eat the occasional hamburger, pizza or piece of Pecan pie if you want. Just not all day every day. Read what's in the boxes and bags of prepared and semi prepared foods at the grocery. You will be shocked. Put the high fat high sodium crap back. Drink more water and less coffee and sugary sodas. You will be rewarded with glowing skin, more energy, and a smaller clothes size. Don't drink enough beer and wine and booze to pickle yourself or smoke like a factory chimney in full production times. Balance and moderation will take you where you want to go and for far longer.
2 Living well is making that body move! Humans were never designed to be sloths. Walk, walk walk. Unless you have a disability that prevents it, park at the space farthest away from the store entrance. Carry your own groceries to the car. Take the stairs. Walk everywhere you can safely. Walk with a friend. Walk with your dog. Walk with your spouse. Cycle, swim, play tennis, ski, dance...whatever you like as long as it provides cardio benefits and gets you into the sunshine and clear air outside. Alternate with free weights for strong bones and Yoga for balance, flexibility, and strength. Sounds tiring but actually it will energize you. You will live longer with a better quality of health than the couch potatoes. Who wants to spend time and money in a doctor's office if you don't have to? Move, move, move...and then go to a twentieth or thirtieth or fortieth reunion and watch your always inactive classmates walk more slowly across the room, wincing in pain with every step as you glide past.
3. Living well is exercising your mind by learning something new every day. Read the newspaper and the Internet. Watch the news on TV. Listen to audio books on the drive home or Pod casts and talk radio. Read anything and everything. Buy an interesting new book or borrow one from the local library. Take a class online or for no credit at a local community college or university. Learn just to learn. Join a group with similar interests to yours. Try something new, maybe something you don't think you can do. Paint, sculpt, sing, scrapbook, write, fish, explore cyberspace or research genealogy. You will surprise yourself and make friends.
4. Living well is nurturing your spirit. Give, not just by check but by giving of your time. Whether its hours or a few minutes, make a difference somewhere. Volunteer. It doesn't matter whether its building a house for Habitat For Humanity, rescuing a dog or cat, saving the planet, working for human rights or political reform, feeding the homeless, comforting the sick in the hospital, teaching an immigrant English or a child to appreciate a painting. Remember the ripple effect? Care and share. Create a smile and it will make you smile too. Your will make friends again and friends are wealth you cannot buy.
5. Living well is being kind to yourself. Do the best you can with whatever you have to work with at any given time. Everybody makes mistakes. Take responsibility for those mistakes and resolve not to make the same ones again. There are plenty of new ones to make. Just don't judge yourself or others too harshly. Think of one thing you did right today. Give yourself a pat on the back. Laugh. Today's little tragedy can be tomorrow's funny story if you tell it right. Plan for tomorrow but live in the now like dogs and children. Look at the pictures of the dogs enjoying the lake, romping in the snow and chillin' out in the baby pool. Remember what it was like being a child and enjoying those simple things just like the dogs. Do something silly. You can't be stressed and silly at the same time. Stress kills more folks that fun does.
Live well and you will create happiness for yourself from the inside out. Pretty much all the time. Truly happy people are confident and and calm and attract other people because they make them feel good to be around them. Happiness is catching just like the flu.
Oh, and here comes the revenge part if you've been waiting for it. The frowning stressed out negative sort of people who are waiting around for their things to create a glow of happiness inside them that lasts for more than a minute or two will be really annoyed by all that happiness and positivity oozing from your pores. It will drive them positively nutsoid. They won't get it but they'll know they're missing something. And when they go out to buy something else they don't need in hope of feeling better they will keep the economy afloat for one more day. That will make a lot of people happy.
So, live well, live long, and laugh. That's all the advice you are gonna get from me. Maybe I've been preachy. I don't mean to be. I sure don't have all the answers to life and if I did I probably wouldn't tell you. I don't always get it right but I'm really happy, my strong body is much younger than my chronology would have it, and gosh darn it most people seem to like me. So, I must be doing some of the living well. Take what I say with the proverbial grain or salt or take it to heart. It's all up to you. Nobody made you read this anyway. LOL.