In the month since I turned 50, nothing substantial has changed. I have no more or less wrinkles than previously. I have gained no more or less wisdom or foolishness. So my expectation of being able to write substantially more words of wisdom and insight may be no more valid than words written one month ago. The difference is that turning 50 allows me the benefit of perspective and the confidence to share that perspective.
This is more important that all the other issues raised here, as without health, it matters little how much money you have, or how beautiful you look. Every person has a sense of duty to their own longevity and their loved ones to attempt to do the very best that they can to provide the healthiest vessel possible, for as long as possible. What can we do?
Eat the most fresh, least processed food which you can find. Don’t eat more than you need to, and avoid foods which make you unwell, and if you don’t know what they are, then take the time to clean out your diet and check what doesn’t suit you, because there is likely to be something which is producing the symptoms which have always bothered you in some subtle way.
Exercise well. This doesn’t mean turning into a gym junkie, as one of my clients said with horror. It means finding exercise which makes you feel well and happy and enjoy how your body responds. There are a plethora of studies done to prove that exercise benefits every person in every circumstance, whether you are old, young, diseased, or treating disease. Exercise helps you feel well. So go for a walk, or a run, or find an inspiring yoga class, or pilates, or dance class, and stick to it. You will be more well for it.
Seek advice when things are not working. If something hurts, find someone to help you understand what, why and how to fix it. Get tests done when it is appropriate, get second opinions to confirm results, establish a maintenance plan to stop issues occurring regularly. Don’t wait until things go too badly wrong to fix… I speak here as both a Naturopath and as a Remedial Massage therapist – if I could see clients before they hit crisis, it would be far easier to repair problems.
This is such an over-emphasised issue in our culture. We all want to look good, and that is normal, but the desire to stay looking good should not come at a cost to our health, or our financial stability. There comes a time in our life when it should be ok to look in the mirror and see our face with no makeup, no glamour, no pretence, and allow this is be something with which we are content. The better we eat, the more we exercise, the better our skin will be, the brighter our eyes, the broader our smile. There is nothing wrong with helping along the better features, but not to the point of discomfort, pain, damage or high expense.
One thing which I have realised in recent years is the time is more valuable than money. Money is nice, don’t get me wrong, and at some point, I’d like to have a comfortable excess of both. But there are times in life which you will never get back, usually in relation to people who you love, and health, where no money in the world will make up for the time which taken away in the process of making that money. Work a nine-day fortnight. Delegate more effectively. Ask for help from someone who you trust. But take the time to spend with your kids where you can stop and communicate with them. Create time to exercise effectively to allow time later for efficient work, or quality home time. Or both.
Accept love, give it generously, and ask nothing in return. Be as good a person as you can be to those you care for, and honestly appraise your own actions and responses, and accept that not everyone loves in the same way. And if you have loved someone but you can’t go on loving them, at least respect them, because they have spent time in your life, and you have learnt from them. If you disrespect this, then you mock your own investment in learning about yourself.
Love your friends, love your children, love your pets. There is no limit on provision of love, and generosity is a gift of love.
We are all responsible for our own happiness. Our environment can shape our choices, but what we get to choose is how we respond to those changes, and how to see the best in all situations. This is not a matter of sucking it up, and seeing the good in everything. This is about choosing to see where a path can take you, and finding happiness in achievement of a hard lesson, or in the simple joy of a sublime sunset.
Blame creates unhappiness, and along with laziness, are hurdles in our personal ability to see a way to allow happiness. Find joy. Seek beauty. Accept gifts. Performs acts of kindness. Happiness is available if you stop waiting for someone to deliver it to you on a satin pillow, and instead go seeking it in unexpected corners of life…
The end result really is that we have choices in life, and for me, I choose to be healthy, I choose to have time with my kids, and I choose to be happy. For me, this is the only way to live.
Revive Your Health
12 Dec 2016