Tuesday, July 2, 2013

you never get anywhere without self-discipline

jees, tell me something else i don't want to hear! yes, i have it very sporadically, only when a deep, devastating motivation gets hold of me. for example, alcohol. a glass of red wine a day good for the body. trouble is, i take one glass, then another, and soon i love being drunk. damn, can't even take a glass, so i don't. and when i smoked at eighteen, to quit i kept telling myself, 'you're killing yourself, you're killing yourself.' it worked and i haven't smoked since. if i had a heart-attack, i'd certainly work out more, and so on.

habits have hold of me, a sweet-tooth that's destroying my teeth, reading a lot and slumping in my chair, sure at sixty my spine would be permanently bent. i've been lucky to this point. reading obituaries, very few americans live past ninety, yet i once browsed an article: 50 thousand americans 90 years-old work full-time. a conundrum, for sure. 

okay, how do they do it? given good genes, exercising, eating healthy foods. ah, and the hundred year-old guy says: "i've inhaled a pack a day since i was twelve", the nicotine obviously the source of his strength. my friend roger not so lucky. sixty-eight, he lay on is death-bed having them shut off the oxygen, coffin-nails more important than life itself. on the other hand, my friend bruce, a dedicated car-mechanic for his day-job, realized he wouldn't be able to work past sixty if he didn't make changes, set up a tent in the back yard with exercising stuff: weights, aerobic bicycle, treadmill. using these and changing his diet, he looks like a wrestler at the height of his powers.

my friend susie once told me about a tv program on fit grandmothers. these ladies at seventy had the bodies of thirty-year-olds. they worked out at the gym three hours a day! i'm lucky if i get out of my chair for two. can i change my habits, that's the immense question. would it diminish my desire to get out of bed in the morning? ah, if i wanted sex more, if i had a little girl at eighty and wanted to watch her grow up, if i decided to walk around the world, maybe, just maybe these would shake me up enough.

to pass up eating chocolate would take an act of congress, to stay off the computer would mean giving it away. true, a vegetarian for 32 years i probably should have stuck with it. and yoga every morning for 20 years, dropping it when i had back problems. i find i'm reluctant to bend over and pick up a pencil. i can't make changes without either being almost scared to death, or filled with an overwhelming ambition. take my pick, what is it to be?

once i can no longer work, i'm finished. hmm, there's a motive. but who wants to work forever except those 50 thousand 90 year-olds. i watch my friends retire, travel the world, either get fat and lazy, or start a seed business where they have to walk the mountains eight hours a day, gathering . yes, it's all about physicality, and us intellectual types just want our bodies to hang around while we use our minds. even tolstoy grew restless at eighty, jumped on a train, not knowing where he was going. too late. he died in a rural station. 

can i rev myself up? i don't know. something has to change.