During a recent writing assignment I had to write two letters to myself: one from 80 year old me, and one from 8 year old me. The funny part is, they were almost identical in their content! They both urged the importance of fun and play, and they both warned of the dangers of stasis and over analysis.
The answers are clear: go to bed earlier, embrace your day, eat well, move your body, align yourself with people and situations that feel good, work hard, don’t worry so much, live simply, explore, feed your bliss, be kind, be patient, make love not war, don’t over indulge in computers and television, practice gratitude, drink water, be good to the earth, take care of yourself like you are your own child, play, try scary things, question limits, listen more, spend a little time alone every day, call your grandparents on Sundays, keep a clean home, floss, stretch, sing, dance, spend $20 on a bottle of wine once a week rather than $10 on a bottle every day, hope for things, find and follow your personal mythology, spend time in nature, don’t drive too fast…
Like a moody teenager yelling “I KNOW!” to their well meaning mother, we act out and selectively forget this intuitive truth when days and minds get busy and for whatever reason we let the pile of dirty clothes grow in the corner of the room. We know what feels good and what does not. Like endorphins flowing through the body after a long run, life endorphins pump just as hard when taxes are complete or a spontaneous solitary walk finds us just a little more able to be where we are.
For some reason we like to punish ourselves, we like to wait until the once surmountable becomes insurmountable. Running on the adrenaline of “I can’t believe I’ve gotten away with ignoring this for so long” we scramble to shove things in corners and half way handle our business to a passable degree. We all do it in some area or other of life. “I’m just not financially savvy” or “I’m more cerebral than physical”, or “I just don’t have the time”, we tell ourselves all these things and more, continuing to veil the truth that if we actually got shit done we would have a lot more time to fulfill our heart’s desires.
And isn’t that a terrifying thought?