I don’t feel old because I go to bed earlier, I don’t feel old because I get better sleep and have drastically altered my diet – I feel younger. Much younger. So far it hasn’t made creaky joints or arthritis go away, but my energy level is up, my confidence level is up and expectations have risen.
Health and vitality issues are driven home every day for everyone, but most of us don’t let much of it sink in very deeply. I realize having good genes for long life and minimal disease in my family bodes well, that exercise helps and improved quality of diet and reduced portions help even more.
For most people, as it was for me for too many years, these messages get tuned out; labeled sleep-deprivation or just plain stupid, it is clearly untenable and getting worse every year – waking up late, sleeping late. Used to be a weekend pursuit, then got to be a habit. Not a healthy one. I read newspaper headlines, blog posts and books about the underestimated value of sleep. More specifically, sleep + recovery, have become mantra-like for me. Not every day, but most days I’m doing a lot better. Some days not as much, but still much improved over the old me.
For too many years I was (probably most of us are) too focused on measurements (accomplishments and acquisitions) of worth and not enough on value, focused feeling worthy rather than doing worthy work, focused on feeling good more than on doing good – shifts happened gradually, and I won’t deny downs as well as ups, but a better person has come out the other end of this proverbial meat grinder of life and career.
Wherever we stand, on a cliff or at a crossroads – at 18 or 80 or somewhere between – can we underwrite the value of the life we are leading? I think we can and should take time to critique our value to ourselves, to the world. I think we can ask, “What could I do better or different or valuable that might make a difference?”
Capability is everywhere, opportunity is in the air supply – but desire only exists inside us. There is time for all of us. The 18-yr. old has lots of time. But so does the 80-yr. old. Desire exists until that fire is put out. But we can re-light, can’t we?
Mark, In my opinion, you nailed it, when you said to be successful at writing, or anything else for that matter… You have to “do, do, do again, do over, do, do,” and perhaps even change direction to get it right or make it feel right. My dad always said, “you may not have time to DO it right the first time, but I promise you, you will have time to DO it over and to DO it right.” I enjoy your “Musings”.Best regards, JW, Llano, TX