It’s been several years since we last sent a shout-out asking you to contribute a blog post with us at Oops50.com. Your responses have been overwhelming, and for that, we thank you. We heard from cops, farmers, actresses, retirees, mothers, caretakers, yoga teachers, etc.
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I need a new job. Sitting at a desk and being indoors on most days is hazardous to your health, and my body knows it. I have days where I sit in front of clients listening to them talk about their business and then after they leave, I have to type up my notes and enter them in a database. Sitting too long gives me a royal pain in the butt, so much that I dream of being a mail carrier or a conductor. I just finished a quarterly report yesterday, so I’ve been sitting at my desk far too long, so now I have a mild case of sciatica. The pain begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock. Lucky for me, it’s not traveling down the lower leg because if you’ve ever had a full blown case of sciatica, you know it’s is a killer.
Of course, if I entered the data a little bit every month in a more timely fashion, I wouldn’t have to be computer chair bound, but when clients call, I give in to their needs and put my admin work on hold even though I’ve designated that time for ME.
Too much sitting and not enough movement is unhealthy. It’s an occupational hazard for sure, so why can’t I collect worker’s comp and get a massage? I want a job where I move. Have you ever seen a slouching, fat mail carrier or conductor? Did you know they live a long healthy life thanks to all that aerobic activity?
Let me be clear, I’m not just looking for longevity, but healthy longevity. Many of the world’s famous conductors lived well into their 80’s and 90’s during a time when the average life expectancy was 50 years old. Evidently, flapping your arms around for hours provides a great cardiovascular workout with a steady stream of blood flowing to the brain – all that, while listening to beautiful music, creating an inner peace. That’s what I want – a life-enhancing job.
There is another way. If I were brilliant, I could expect a long life, say the longevity experts. Winners of the Nobel Prize live longer than most people. It seems like the act of winning a Nobel Prize increases longevity and life expectancy by 1.5 years. They also say Minnesotans live longer than most as well as those who are married. And who knew that the more money you make, the longer you live? So, I guess a wealthy married orchestra conductor living in Minnesota who has won a Nobel Prize can expect an uber long AND healthy life.
Mae West got it right, and she was 87 when she died.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
With my sun in Pisces and living right on my Neptune line, you’d think that I’d be a daydreaming fool. But no, I cannot even take a little catnap in the afternoon! There is just too much to DO!
I remember how much I liked to color with crayons as a kid, and how I would lay down in the grass and look up in the sky for long periods of time. Now, baking (more so than cooking meals) takes me to places that are nice, and meditating is good because it is going inside, but it is not often enough. I occasionally allow myself time to paint, and get into the zone of no-mind, but again, it just isn’t often enough.
I tend to think it’s because of the amount of my day I spend on “the computer”. And the fact that I now “multi-task”, which has only started within the last couple of years.
So when I read an article from the Huffington Post site that says the latest research shows that a wandering mind helps the memory, I was thrilled. What an interesting post! Here’s an excerpt from that article:
Adam Gazzaley, a University of California San Francisco neuroscientist who studies the mind and distraction, wasn’t surprised by the results.
“I have been thinking more and more about our external environment and our internal environment,” he said. “We feel like we live in an external environment because we interact with the world. But we also have a dynamic and rich internal environment.”
Results are indicating, “there may be consequences” as we jam more and more stimulus into our heads, without taking a break to simply contemplate or daydream, Gazzaley said. “There are costs to multitasking and not pausing.”
Previous studies have shown that multi-taskers are more distracted and stressed.
“It is up to us to slow down enough to make informed decisions,” Gazzaley continued. “I think there is a growing tendency to feel that if it exists,” he said of media in all its forms and omnipresence, “I might as well use it all at the same time. But just because it exists, and is cool, does not mean it has to all be used simultaneously.”
So now that it’s proven that it’s perfectly OK to space out and to take mental break during the day, I feel more and more people will begin to enjoy life – hooray! So take a moment to listen to the following song from the Lovin’ Spoonful, and enjoy where it takes you.
My oldest daughter is getting married this summer. Even though I hesitate to say it, I guess she’s old enough. After all, she is 24. She has met someone who, in many ways, seems ideal for her. It’s all good.
And yet, I’m struggling to deal with it. I mean, for some reason, I can’t take it in. I can’t believe my little baby girl is getting married. There is no way that 24 years have gone by since she was first holding her head up in the hospital room, looking around with a look of total curiosity! I can’t believe I am actually planning a wedding. I can’t believe that, when the party is over and all the guests have gone home, my daughter will be married—and living her own adult life with someone else. She’s not coming home again, not now, not in the future.
My daughter’s fiance’s family was here this past weekend, and we had a wonderful time with them. They are great people. Everything is great. But there was a big part of me that kept waiting for this movie to end, so that all of us could walk back into our normal lives.
The whole wedding ritual doesn’t really help either. There are so many ways you can spend money that you do not have. There are so many people making a living off this industry. It can be overwhelming, and you can easily get caught up in the planning and the expense and lose sight of what the event is all about. A dear friend said to me recently, “Are you worrying so much that you’re taking all the fun out of it?” She drew me up short, because that’s exactly what I was doing. I was worrying and worrying and stressing and stressing, instead of trying to enjoy the whole planning process with my daughter. I was ruining it for her.
My daughter is well aware that we can’t have a wedding that’s straight out of one of those shows on TV, and she has been amazing about it. Even though the small, family wedding we’re planning may not be the wedding she envisioned, she is joining in the spirit of things and finding special bargains and creative possibilities. She has come more than halfway. I’m the one that has been hanging back, maybe waiting for this whole thing to go away?
My words of wisdom for others heading down this road:
1) Remember that your daughter is going through a major change in her life and needs your support.
2) Remember that you are gaining a son, not losing a daughter.
3) Remember that, when all is said and done, it really doesn’t matter if you have engraved invitations or white linen tablecloths, as long as you and your daughter arrive at the wedding still loving each other.
4) And decide, early on, what you can spend on this event and then give your daughter a budget and try to sit back and relax a little, every now and then. OK, I will try to take my own advice, starting NOW.
We went to visit a friend who lives in a community about an hour away that is off the grid. I’ve been there many times before, but this time was special because it’d be the first time we would see Arjuna’s new home, named “Leila”, all finished and lived in.
Walking up to it, the curves and rounded shapes in the structure made me smile. Inside there were more rounded edges, with walls and floors having an earthiness and sensuality that is lacking in practically every house that I’ve even seen, and I have seen a lot of houses!
I have to wonder why most homes are not made to feel good? Having lived in a 1903 home in Switzerland, where the design was based on Pythagoras’ Golden Mean, where each room and every room that it touched was in harmony, I can truly say that this small detail makes a big difference. And since we spend so much time in our home, doesn’t it make sense that it should feel good?
It was a cold winter afternoon outside, but going inside “Leila” was like a familiar hug, and the fire that heats the house by heating the walls smelled so good!
Alternative housing, alternative living, communal living: I’ve lived that way when I was in my 20’s. Being in a community of like-minded people is something that is hard to describe. And if I told you that it was the best time of my life, being in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, not owning a car, not getting paid but having everything that I could possibly want, either you wouldn’t believe me, or you would want to be living there right now!
In Switzerland, we often found ourselves living in houses with others. One of the things that people often think is that there would be no privacy with this type of housing. And the funny thing is that I had the feeling that I had more privacy; maybe because I was more inside myself, finding my own space and being there?
And now as I get older, having lived the chapter of my life called “remodeling the old farmhouse, having a nice garden and chickens and rabbits with my partner”, I can again see the benefit of having people around me, friends that share the garden, the shopping, and get together for things that matter to me, like meditation. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I can see it more clearly after spending that afternoon at Arjuna’s in her beautiful house at Earthaven.