Notes: Source: Nikewomen. SMWI*=Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
My favorite passage in the book is a reprinting of Johnny Cash’s to-do list: “Not smoke. Kiss June. Not kiss anyone else. Cough. Pee. Eat. Not eat too much. Worry. Go see Mama. Practice piano.” I like the list because it contains the seeds of its own undoing. Habits have an eternal appeal because they remove the element of choice. They hold out the promise that in the future we can improve ourselves almost automatically just by moving through our days, like the evolved operating system in the Spike Jonze movie “Her.” But Johnny Cash understands that temptation is not a virus we can remove. His list isn’t linear, it’s circular. He will never turn into June. He will always be Johnny, and every day he will cough, pee and eat. Just as every day he will have to resist the urge to kiss someone else.
~ Hanna Rosin, Book Review of Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before”
Monday AM: It’s Zeke’s annual check-up. He remembers the six-inch needle from his last appointment. He’s not welcoming John, the GVW (“the Greatest Vet in the World”). Zeke weighs in. He’s up another 5 pounds, peaking at his all-time high. GVW’s scorecard on Zeke sets off vicious attacks: Family v. Dad. It’s you! He only sits next to you at Dinner! You are feeding him table scraps! Do you realize you are shortening his life!” Dad Growls in response.
Wednesday AM: GVW sends an email. He’s never sent an email to me before, but he needs to send this one. Zeke’s stool sample shows no evidence of worms. Vet Code Translation: He’s fat, but at least he’s clean. All is not lost.
Thursday PM: It’s bedtime. Zeke’s laying next to me. He looks up and stares. What’s up Zeke? He tells me he’s depressed. GVWs lack of bedside manner cut deep. GVW and the Family fail to grasp nature’s natural cycle like Mary Oliver and I do: summer falling to fall, to be following by what will follow: winter again: count on it. Same with weight. Down in summer. Up in the Winter. Down in summer. Count on it. It’s a bloody cycle. No need to overreact.
The gray in your hair doesn’t make you old,
Nor the crow’s feet under your eyes, I’m told.
But when your mind makes a contract your body can’t fill,
You’re over the hill, brother, over the hill.
–Mary E. Mitchell, 32 Easy Lessons in Metaphysics and the Science of our Mind
Notes: SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration. Image Credit – Your Eyes Blaze Out
Stick with this short film until the end. If you are having a difficult time getting motivated this morning, think of Dave Jacka.
“I was this 20 year old guy…it was like any other day…one night I went out on my motor bike and I took a corner too fast and too late…head first into the tree…next thing I knew I was lying beside the bike, and I couldn’t move and I couldn’t breathe, and I felt as if i was suffocating…I was 6’ 3” and bulletproof and I could do anything physically…It suddenly dawned on me I couldn’t do anything…I have 6% of my physical body working. I can’t move anything from my armpits down…and suddenly my mom, dad and my sisters have to put me to bed at night. If I had one wish, I just wished I could get myself out of this chair…and have a fraction of independence…”
Be sure to watch the rest of the story.
*SMWI = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration