Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday's Words for April 25, 2012

I wear a step counter every day. The purpose of this little device is to remind me not to spend my entire day sitting on my butt in front of my computer.

That dual nature of mine – anal and completely sanguine – plays against me more often than not. It means that while I have a detailed plan and schedule on any given day, I’m capable of ignoring same and going off into my own little realm of silliness.

Wasting time doesn’t pay the bills, as my mother would say.

Unfortunately I’ve shown a real knack for wasting time. The step counter makes a bit of a sound every time I adjust my position in my chair, reminding me that I have to get up and move around. I have to stop wasting time and start moving.

Ideally, walking is the best exercise there is. But as many of you know, walking isn’t something I do very well any more. I can walk some. Oh, not the brisk strides the health gurus promote. But at this point in my life, I figure any steps I take are better than no steps at all. And I know that if I don’t take these steps every day, very soon I won’t be able walk, period.

I don’t waste time thinking of what might have been; that smacks of self pity. No, I’m not perfect. Yes, I do have tiny bouts of that malaise from time to time. But my pity parties are private affairs, by invitation only—and so far, I haven’t invited anyone to join me.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that has good days and bad days, but will never be gone. On good days I can manage anywhere from 6000 to 8000 steps. I’ve even hit 10K a few times – and in case you were wondering, that is the number of steps that most healthy adults should be taking every day: ten thousand steps.

On bad days, I’m lucky to hit 3000. Thankfully, unless the weather sabotages me, I don’t have many really bad days. I’m not telling you all this to get you to feel sorry for me. I don’t need or want anyone’s pity or even sympathy. I’m telling you this to let you know that everyone has challenges in their lives. We all do, and so we are none of us really alone. Life is hard and often unfair – but it hard and often unfair for everyone.

If you see someone who appears to be living a life of perfection, for whom nothing seems to go wrong ever, may I suggest you take a moment to complement them on their acting abilities.

I used to swim every day until my body developed certain conditions that made that not a very good idea. I think we’ve found and fixed the problem, and I’m looking forward, in a couple of weeks, to renewing my pool membership. I’m going to be less aggressive than I was – swimming every day was difficult and too high a goal. I’ll aim for three times a week and see how that goes.

I’m very fortunate that I can do that; I’m very lucky that there is a facility near enough and the cost is reasonable enough that I can manage to do it.

I’m very fortunate that I can do a lot of things to make life easier for myself. I spend time every day focusing on how very fortunate I am, and I do count the blessings in my life, every single day.

I do that, because being grateful makes me feel good inside. Being kind to others, and lifting people up instead of bringing them down, are in reality extremely selfish actions and ones I indulge in on a regular basis.

They fill my heart, lift my spirits, and cheer my soul. Nothing feels better, and nothing else can give me that kind of return on investment.

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