Back when I was in high school, our PE (physical education) teacher had a saying – it was pretty popular back in the 1970’s. “No pain, no gain.”
Perhaps that is true with physical fitness, but I’m doubting it’s truth to the broader scope of life. Mind you, this is not a declaration of my completing the journey to enlightenment, but I have some recent observations to share.
First – I’ve entered a strange phase in my growth cycle. It would be easy to say that I’ve completed the journey, because I feel so stable. It isn’t that life has no challenges, but even the challenges are welcome. I’m calm, level headed, and unflustered about almost everything. The almost is the key to my recalcitrance at declaring a total victory. There are still times when I “lose it”.
Back to the pain/gain cycle. My wife was recently selected as one of a few test subjects on the campus at the college she works at – field testing something called a “flexi-desk”. The basic idea is that it is adjustable, you can use it sitting or standing. So far, she loves it, but reports to me that she can’t stand for more than about 5-10 minutes at a time. She’s noticed her calves firming up, for certain.
That got me to thinking about how much time I spend sitting the last 5 years, and I decided to start spending some of my gaming time standing (thank goodness for wireless controllers). I’m noticing the same things – calves firming, time limit of just a few minutes – and the insides of my thigh muscles are sore.
But, like I said before, even the challenges are welcome. Though I pick my battles, I haven’t had any of that soreness stop me from doing other things around the house. I’m also still not getting 8 hours of sleep in a row but I am finding that I think clearly enough to get most things done, and done right. I’m also becoming “forgetful” – but in a good way.
That is going to take some explanation. Our society has become so focused on warning signs for Alzheimer’s Disease that sometimes we forget that it is good to forget some things. For instance – forgetting to worry about politics; forgetting to obsess over past mistakes; letting the future take care of itself. These are good things – indications that we’ve started to “live in the eternal NOW” as Eckhart Tolle would say. I’m finding that to be an easier state of mind to live in. I’m not ecstatic, blissful, or overjoyed; but I’m also not worried, depressed, or obsessed. Life simply IS, and that is in itself pretty neat.
I’m interested in where it goes from here.