I miss my one grandmother. She had a rough life yet managed to gain a great deal of wisdom via simple real-life trials and tribulations. When she was close to 80, she had some surgery, and the doctor prescribed a bland and boring heart-healthy diet. My mom was taking care of her and didn’t read the “diet” and was feeding her whatever she desired until one day she looked at the paper and said, “oh mom, I am sorry, I was supposed to be feeding you bland and boring vegetables!”
I never heard my grandmother swear, but on this day, she said, “I am an old woman, take that paper and throw the son-of-a-bitch away!”
There is something to be said about old age. As I watch my folks age, I am amazed, saddened, bewildered, and blown away at the process and everything that I am witnessing. I think the humor in it all is what has me smile the most. You have two grown people acting like children at times. My father announced, “I am 84, I can do whatever I want.” I smile and disagree with him, yet, I am so thrilled after his heart issues, he religiously goes to rehab and the gym. I know we all have a choice to change. What bothers me is how so few seem to want to really change, or who think what they are doing is actually going to provide change
The last line is like watching a plump man I see in the gym. He is there, he is trying, yet he sits on one machine and does fundamental and rudimentary work on one body part of his entire body and probably goes home and thinks, “hey, I worked out, I can have a pizza tonight!”
What am I learning about aging? Nutrition and flexibility are vital things to do each day. Probably more important than weight training and cardio. I am on a mission to take myself down to a level where I feel much better. What it has me doing is looking at myself and wondering how many years I allowed bad habits of still thinking I was an athlete and overeating to creep up over time on my body. You just don’t see or recognize the change until one day you look in the mirror and ask, “who is that? Oh, that is me? What happened?”
What happened is one allowed the system of cheap and abundant crappy food and the 24/7 convenience of having anything you want, anytime you want to creep in as a habit. I think it was 2007 when I did my first fasting test to understand why the orphans couldn’t learn so much. That lent was pretty stringent on no food for a week and then only one meal a day. What it taught me is that the human body needs a bit more for the mind to not get lethargic and dumb down. I also learned in the western developed countries that too much of cheap crappy food will bring about weight gain where people can’t really move all that well and whose medical issues with various self-inflicted diseases happen.
It is a strange dichotomy indeed.
So, what I see in the USA upon arrival is a lot of large people. I can’t say they are very healthy with the extra weight and I just got sick of carrying my own excess weight. I do understand how hard it is to change and acquire new habits. It is like learning a language for me, or the process of trying to assimilate into a foreign culture. In a more obvious example, I do love to grow, cook, and preserve foods. It is a lot healthier than what you get in the stores, yet, it also is what is allowing the weight to stay off. (I admit, I am actually watching nutrition and flexibility more than sprinting, HITT, weights, and cardio)
Where does this all lead? I think to a bigger issue that I see in the united states. That of mental health. I have never seen a country more afraid, insecure, or bent on putting security and ways to obliterate one’s enemies as a way of life. It is actually sad to witness. When I watch the news, I wonder, “where and how did these leaders get elected?” It doesn’t seem to matter if it is democratic or republican. One watches the power and greed seem to overtake the people that are supposed to lead. I can’t really imagine the allure of that much power and the perks of it. I was blown away with my own life when all the hard work led a smaller version of success in a secular way. Basically, I turned into an idiot with it all.
Today? I am probably half an idiot as the path to get to where I want inside will take daily work until the moment I stop breathing. What I can’t do is just settle for what others think is good enough. The been there done that was over when I was about 30 years old. It was a lot of fun, yet, it doesn’t fill your heart and soul. The work I am doing on the mental and spiritual side goes hand in hand with the physical fitness work. It is to try to bring a balance and learn a state of dispassion and walk out my time on the planet. It is easier said than done, as each day someone, something, or an event will have me face things that I need to correct or polish in myself. Heck, there are some things I should throw away completely, but the act of doing that is much like having to dig a weed out by its roots.
I do understand the trials and tribulation and discomfort of change. I used to think that you worked hard and then one day “ arrives!” today, I feel that the journey is never-ending, and you continue on each day and focus on the priorities in a world that seems to be sucked into just doing obligations. This is a similar thing I see in religion. We have made it so easy to get lost in rules/regulations/traditions that we are blinded to the bigger meaning of god. We are so busy pretending to be clean on an outward level with our clothes, image, and stuff that we forget to look inside. It isn’t really all that fun the first time you do this and realizes, “Woah, I am just a flawed human like everyone else.” Yet, over time, the journey opens up a most rewarding process of learning to grow as a human and in love – even one’s enemies. (the latter is a bit difficult as it forces you to merely take accountability for your actions, not what another does to you.)
So, I do think elderly people get a pass for merely lasting as long as they have. What I don’t agree with is that someone thinks or feels age is somehow a limiter or a barrier that one must sit there and not learn to work, grow, and improve themselves in some way each day.
When I flip this around to the youth today, I sometimes wonder if perhaps the Chinese aren’t right in their social score…yet in the west, call it a “humane license” that people go to a class to learn simple basic ways to treat their fellow human well in public spaces. When I see people fighting over material goods on black Friday, or this week a few news stories about brawls at food buffets over crab legs, or people pulling guns at drive-throughs at fast food workers…one has to say, “hey, this isn’t acceptable anymore.”
Wait. I just realized our leaders only enacted a bill this week that should be common sense and human rights with the words of the declaration of independence signed a few hundred years ago…human rights. I never understood this before I traveled the world, yet, here inside the leadership of the united states, they actually had to make some rules about insulting another about race, creed, color, religion, and views
I found this sad.
Where is the balance anymore in the united states?
Time for café with this longer than 10-minute ramble of thoughts in a country that is really getting large, taking way too many drugs, and medicating itself because it is too lazy to take a few steps and get past the discomfort of changing the roots. Even with a plant, you prune it to allow it to grow…I don’t see this happening; instead, I see everyone growing like a wild plant anymore. Grandma also said, “one day people will have bushel barrels of money and won’t be able to buy a loaf of bread.” i think in a small way she might be right…while i love technology and the tools we are creating, there is something simple and beauitufl to growing, cooking and creating your own healthy food. how many people can survive if something really terrible happens?