A Challenge from Mary Oliver

 “Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

                                                                                             Mary Oliver

That just about says it all. Mary Oliver was a brilliant and wise poet who, unfortunately, no longer graces us with her presence on the planet. Obviously, she did a lot of thinking about the meaning of life. She was a seeker.

In that respect, we’re all seekers. We’re all looking for clues that we’re on the right path…that we’re not wasting the minutes, hours, and years we’ve been given. I don’t think this quest, or as they say, the hero’s journey, hits us until we’re practically at midlife. Earlier then that, we’re probably struggling to make a living, raise a family, or reach a goal that gives us some measure of pleasure and security. 

This Again?

I know I drone on about this, but only because I think it’s the key to happiness. It may be that until midlife, when you can actually see your past in the rear -view mirror, you’re able to see you’ve been on the path all along. If not, there’s always another path beckoning, enticing you to take the newer challenge, to dare to risk it.

In a way, life’s like the board game “Clue”. We get clues along the way, like breadcrumbs, as to what we signed up for, what mission we chose to accept.

Thank You, Mirror

At midlife, a lot of people jump on the idea of a bucket list. Here’s where the realization that time’s running out smacks you in the face. Another reminder is the mirror. Thank you, God, for giving us that scary visual reminder. Otherwise, we’d go blissfully on our lifetime playground unaware of the ticking clock. I think of the intro to 60 minutes. No matter how much you love the show, it’s over when it’s over. Even the old saying, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” alludes to the truth that it will be over.

 Some people are born knowing what they want to be, or what they’re here to do. Some people simply follow their heart, and this is the road that gives them peace.

Like the old song by the Fifth Dimension, they follow the path that makes them feel” so safe, so sane, and so secure.” You don’t even have to know you’re on it. It’s so intuitive.

If this sounds like you, count yourself blessed. You’re among the lucky ones. 

Others try several paths. But, in my opinion, you can’t do this wrong. You’re here for a reason. 

So, as Mary Oliver so brilliantly wrote, “What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Here We Go Again!

Another Year Rolls Around

It’s that time of year…

By now, the gym membership is a mini guilt trip haunting you like the ghost of Christmas past. 

For that reason, I haven’t broken any resolutions because, guess what, I didn’t make any.

Ha! I feel like I’m laughing in the face of tradition. Is there a category for “couch potato “on the list of laudable resolutions?

But not to worry. I won’t be sitting idly by. There’s another category, which, by the way, I didn’t sign up for… taxes. 

Tax Trivia

Did you realize that income tax didn’t even exist before 1861? I’m not trying to be a grinch. I’m sure they had bigger things to worry about, like the lack of indoor plumbing, but despite that, aren’t you just a little bit jealous?

If you do your own taxes, I applaud you, but the brutal exacting work of locating the necessary paperwork and making sure your total expenses match the categories they fall under is a grueling task. Overall, math is my nemesis. Don’t think calculators are the answer. I can’t blame the calculator. If it doesn’t add up, it doesn’t add up.

Accountants expect it to add up. This is why I’m not an accountant. It’s so black and white. As much as I love those colors for my wardrobe, as a rule, I find it so perfectionistic. It’s so…you know…picky! 

Driving home today, I heard the Beatles song “Taxman”. If you haven’t heard it, please tune in. Even the Beatles resented paying taxes. 

Tax Freedom?

There’s actually a” Tax Freedom Day” each year. Never heard of it? I think that’s by design, because the actual number of days they estimate you have to work before your tax debt is met is 105.

This is so ironic because, if I’m correct, that’s 3.5 months, which, again, if I’m correct, is April 15.

Is this a coincidence? Is this too synchronistic to be real?

So, May is your first free month as a citizen. Live it up!

No wonder people are dancing around the Maypole.

Just Saying

The Two Issues of the Day
I’m going to share a few recent revelations. The first involves food…to be specific, sugar. I admit I’m a sweet-a-holic. I’ve discovered it’s genetic, at least in my family, but who cares about its origins. You can get too much of a good thing, it seems.
 
My lifetime obsession with sugar is triggered by three things…having a meal, being hungry between meals, or watching someone eat sweets. So, basically, I live in a constant state of craving. Don’t even suggest I do a sugar fast. That’s not on my bucket list. 
 
It plays out like this. When I finish lunch or dinner, unless I have something that resembles dessert, I’m still hungry. Breakfast is excluded because I usually throw in a date, and save it for last. Then it sort-of qualifies as dessert…but back to lunch and dinner. Picture me searching aimlessly for something healthy to satisfy my sweet tooth. Ok…it doesn’t exist…and don’t suggest dates…too many dates and you’ve got other complications.
 
But the other day, I miraculously solved this problem in a little tiny way, in case you’ll argue this isn’t really a solution. I was craving something sweet because I knew, in my heart of hearts, nothing else would do. Anything else would end up a reject, and just add on calories. We both know the sugar would win out. Let’s get real.
 
The only thing I had in the pantry, in the category of snacks, was a pretzel pack. These were really tasty pretzels so I figured the makers must have put sugar in the mix. I looked at the ingredients. There is was… second ingredient from the top…sugar, and lots of it. 
 
Suddenly I was hit with the revelation. “This may call itself a pretzel, but this isn’t a pretzel. This is a cookie!” 
 
Mea Culpa
All I can say is…problem solved.  Actually, not so fast. Because I’ve now that I’ve slipped into the prediabetic zone, I’ve decided to limit my sugar consumption and return to my walking routine. A few years ago I created an online program called “How To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Without Dieting”, available on Udemy.com. Now, it seems, I need to follow my own advice. You’ve heard the saying, “Physician, heal thyself!”
 
As a result, my research has introduced me to a new and exciting concept. I’m pretty fascinated at the moment with Intermittent Fasting as a way to lower blood sugar (if you happen to fall into the prediabetic or diabetic zone). Learning about Intermittent Fasting turns out to be an effective way to both lose weight and control your blood sugar levels. And don’t let the word “fasting” scare you. I, personally, try to fast from 7:00 at night until 7:00 or 8:00 the next morning. I never thought I could give up my nightly popcorn binge, but it turned out to be a piece of cake, no pun intended. To read about the benefits, check out The Diabetes Codeby Dr. Jason Fung.
 
I Know You Can Relate
So, let’s move on to the next problem…insomnia.

I realized, in a moment of clarity, that I require, at the very least, six hours of sleep lest I be mistaken for a Walking Dead cast member. 
 
The other night I got four hours. As a result, I slugged through the day feeling  only slightly “with it”. 
 
Later that same day, the effects of sleep deprivation dug in its spiky heels.
 
 I returned from the pet store, and couldn’t find my credit card. I assumed I’d left it at the store. I made a trip back to the store…but no credit card. I kept thinking about the fun I was going to have notifying all the merchants who bill that card that it was lost or stolen. 
 
My mind was spinning…where could it be? 
 
I briefly considered mischievous poltergeist. Deep down, though, I blamed the four hours of sleep.
 
Then out of the blue, there it was, on full display on top of the counter.
 
So no poltergeist, no hours on the phone with customer service, no waiting for a new card to arrive.
 
Last night I got seven hours of sleep. I’m now cognizant enough to write this blog.
 
I love happy endings. Don’t you?
 
 
 
Image by unserekleinemaus from Pixabay