Monday, June 7, 2010

The Big Picture

"Once you get the blanket thing, you can relax because everything you could ever want or be, you already have and are." I Heart Huckabees

It's time to look at health and fitness as part of the big picture.

Like all good bloggers, I cruise the blogosphere being nosey and seeing what everybody else is up to. I have to say, a lot of people aren't up to much.

However, I have recently stumbled upon a genre of blog that really interests me. A number of bloggers are writing their way through their experiences and experiments in deliberate living, minimalism and the simplicity movement.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, think Walden Pond. We're conjuring the spirit of Thoreau here.

Now some people seem to take these ideas and spin them into an experiment in self-deprivation, "let's see if I can survive with only 25 personal items." That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the idea that you can actively choose your life rather than letting life happen to you.

The idea is that you examine your values and goals and then direct your time, energy and money toward those things and direct your resources away from the pursuit of pointless material things and time sinks that have no value to you. You stop chasing after trends and 'keeping up with the Jones' and start paying attention to the things you'll care about when you're looking back on your life.

You rolled your eyes. Ya, I saw that. Just hang on for a second, before you write this off as a hippie movement (which, admittedly, in some cases it is) hear me out.

Nobody ever says, "if only I'd spent more time at the office," or, "that pair of red pumps would have changed everything for me."

But they might say, "I wish I'd spent more time with my kids when they were young," or, "we should have taken that trip while we had the chance."

Here's a health related example. If you value your health, you would choose to protect it. So, an hour of your time would be better spent exercising instead of watching TV and your money would be better spent on cooking lessons than on Quarter Pounders.

Yet how often we cave - myself included...I'm certainly no better.

I want to live my life deliberately. I think we all do and all try to, with varying degrees of success. I think it's something that takes a great deal of focus. There are a lot of tempting distractions out there.

A lot of proponents of deliberate living suggest making a 'life list' - & no those aren't sarcastic quotation marks. It's an individual list of values and goals that acts as a touchstone to return to when you need to refocus your priorities.

A lot of people seem to be hung up on having 100 bullets on their list. This seems problematic, however, because many people can't come up with 100 things and end up with stuff like, #42 match up all my socks, #78 finish my life list.

That's really lame. I think a list of values and priorities should be as long or as short as it needs to be AND I think it should be open to revision from time to time. Life isn't static and the list shouldn't be stagnant.

I'm going to work on my life list over the next few days and see what comes of it. I should have some time for soul searching while I'm camping this weekend. If anybody else is interested in completing this exercise, by all means feel free. It seems like a worthwhile first step toward constructing an extraordinary life.

P.S. as I mentioned, I'll be camping this weekend so there won't be a post on Friday. I'll check in with everybody on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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