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I am now celebrating my twilight years, a natural stage in one man’s life. This is the time I am done with family responsibilities, also the years I should start taking care of myself. I would like to think I prepared myself for this, in fact, I might have over-prepared myself for this. Or did I? Nevertheless it is both pleasant and sad to get into this stage because all my friends are busy either with their own families or with their own struggles, certain to find no time to spend with me. At the same time, I’m quite glad I can sort of limit my social life (because of that) to focus on what is more important to me, like hobbies and tasks I promised myself to complete once given the time. And I am given the time now. Or… do I?
It is important for me to take a proper view of my twilight years. It is unique. I thought wrongly this would be the age when I could make up for the social life I lost in my younger years or the time I thought I should indulge in more lurid and lustful liaisons or the time to be lazy or the time to be treated like a king. Heck, none of those did happen because I did not really want them. I also thought all my kind acts and honorable efforts and charity to family and friends and work clients earlier in life would finally be repaid back (like karma) either by them of by God, heck, none of those did happen as well. Instead I found myself cutting down my working hours because my body is deteriorating one way or another, and I needed to work to save for my retirement and pay for health insurance. Given the cut on my working hours, I projected I’d have a couple extra hours a day to allow me to indulge in my hobbies. Well, that did not pan out as I expected too because I am so damn tired at the end of each day.
I guess I need to be more realistic with my twilight years. I hear of people who made their millions in their 40s so they retired in their early 50s but they mostly were dealing with financials and probably did not have as much responsibilities as I did when I had to help an entire clan of families back home. Also, I have health reasons that require me to keep working or at least moving. I did not expect to end with diabetes but it is here and there is no treatment for this except medication, exercise and dieting. So there goes my wonderfully lazy inactive twilight years.
What really matters in my twilight years? It is this moment of peace.
I know of a man who stole money from another and shamelessly hid himself. I know of a man who begged that someone else support his family because of an exaggerated illness and later claimed all the credit and even cursed the hand that fed him. Some men moved on with their lives feeding their families with lies, deceit and robbery. These types of evil men entered their twilight years without a single remorse or guilt and in fact walked around with a sneer on their faces, gleeful that they were able to successfully pull their tricks on others, and cockily promoted their ‘goodness’ by simply talking. Some businessmen fooled their clients; some holy men stole money from holy coffers; some hid murders; some cheated on their wives; some committed injustice in their world. The world is full of them and I guess some could sleep well at nights despite that.
If I have done a single wrong to my fellowmen, I would probably be deprived of sleep. It is just in my nature. There is harmony in knowing you kept your world fair and square. There is peace in facing this world with clean conscience and leaving it with the least scar and mark and pain and anger among those left behind.
I think I am happy in my twilight years. Today I can walk out my door to Starbucks and drink coffee while reading a good book. I can walk and run distances with fair health and I have intact memory, I can still comprehend complex ideas and problem-solve situations. I still can see the blue sky and feel the sun and tread the ground with bare feet. I can hear children laugh. I can laugh at myself. I can pray and contemplate the beauty of this world. I am no longer sure achieving wealth, fame, power or love from all people around me. I was born with a duty and I had done that duty. In my twilight years, I am peeling off the many layers of wrappers around me, little by little, I am abandoning the things I accumulated because I am traveling light to the world where eternal peace reigns supreme.
On With the New Quest
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My workouts seem to be quite imbalanced. I spend too much time running and not much resistance training. Too much aerobics and less anaerobics. So I feel it necessary to crank up those weights even when I feel my caloric expenditure is not as ‘dramatic’ as when I run. But I put a big question mark to that claim. Some would say the calorie expenditure may not be big ‘during’ a resistance routine but because it targets muscles and since muscles spend more energy to do their jobs, it’s just logical they will use more calories in the long run. Of course I can experiment on that with my body and my data will maybe prove or disprove any claim(as far as I am concerned). I know for sure the weights are necessary especially when you are over 50. I haven’t really researched much on apps dealing with resistance training or weight lifting or strengthening but I am sure there are millions out there.
As for the meals, I have discovered how accessible vegetables are --- in the frozen section. Seriously, I am one who buys fresh vegetables only to dump them into the garbage bin after a week due to my preference to eat in my workplace cafeteria because I lack the discipline to pack my own lunch. Yeah, shame on me. But this will be a new day. I’ve got brown rice and tuna and brussel sprouts and tomato. Sweet.
As for my relaxation, I was able to assemble a new bookcase in my ‘crib’ (that is so 1980’s word) the whole of Saturday. It took a lot of time and energy and effort but it helped me organize my otherwise cluttered space. Seriously, I am way past my college dorm years. Time for me to act my age.
My best two days so far. They were quiet, restful, goal oriented, disciplined. Ah, having too much responsibilities and being cluttered in one place is such a dysfunctional existence.
There is a biblical message for me today that seems to specifically single me out. Sometimes I tend to overwork for no apparent reason except love of work. Then I follow work with study of anything that takes my fancy. And then I follow that with programming using different languages. And then I blog. I am afraid there’d come a time I’d realize my days will into weeks into months into years and I’ve missed all the fun things-- like the joy of social interaction, travel and simple lounging in a quiet spot while celebrating the full blessing of healthy living.
We don’t want to chase the winds too much, do we?
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves. [this is about laziness]
Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.[this is about enjoying life with little.]--Ecclesiastes 4:4-5
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