Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Words of Wisdom

So I've been irked by a certain cousin's status posting on Facebook. The glass is always half empty. Not enough money. Working out is hard. I feel bad for her. I've been in that mentality. Where the world is big and scary and simply too much.

The last few years I've made a departure from that mind frame. I wish I could share with her words of wisdom. Something to help her move from where she is to where she wakes up happy for the day. And then I ask, how? How can I share the wisdom with out her asking? Firstly, she needs to want & believe there is a better way. Then, what would I say?

The glass is always filled half way. There will always be people richer and poorer, happier, sadder. We don't get what we want in life - no one does. I likened it to being in a restaurant. Each person orders what they want. I might pick a fillet mignon with a mushroom sauce, truffled potatoes and brussel sprouts sauteed in garlic butter. However from the kitchen comes mussels in a lemon, white wine broth. It is yummy and briny and something I might not have choosen for my selft.

It is up to me how to resopnd. I can try the mussels - they might suit me just fine and could turn out to be more to my liking than that fillet I thought I wanted. I might talk to the waiter and see what I can do about getting a fillet - work to get what I want; fighting against what was given in an attempt to get my own vision. Or I might pick at the mussels and annoy my dinner guests with complaints at how I didn't get what I wanted.

We all get served something else in life - we get to choose our reaction to it. The fun of life is that we get mussels. The fun is that we're at the table. We're eating. We've got company. That there is a meal at all I hope she can someday appreciate the meal instead of focusing on the problems with the service.

Framing the problem in a larger context is critical. If you isolate the physical discomfort of a work out, yes, they are tough and can be painful. However, when moving the frame back to include what they do for the mental & physical health they are much more enjoyable. I had the worst long walk to date 2 weeks ago. I was out in Oakley and there weren't sidewalks. I was walking on the dusty shoulder of the road with large trucks whizzing past. It was hot, and I couldn't find any drinking fountains. Until the last 3 miles, I disliked the scenery and couldn't distract myself by enjoying lovely vistas. It was the slowest and most unpleasant walk I had taken to date. Yet, I didn't stop. I didn't cut back short. I set out to do 12 miles and I was going to do 12 miles. I wanted to burn those calories. I wanted to fulfill the promise to myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could over come difficulty. It sucked. I'm glad I did it.

Another part is not being a victim. Take control of what you can control. You can always do something. It might not be what you want or the ideal, but you can take action. If you don't like your body - it is up to go you to change it. Change the mixture of food intake. Change the exercise routine. It may be tough & unpleasant and so is disdain for one's appearance.

But I'm preaching to the choir. I don't think she'll ask. I hope she does. I'll keep working my message, honing it and making it more uplifting. I want to be ready if she ever does. Cousin don't preach.

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