Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is life mostly luck or self-determination?

The longer I live the more important this question seems. As I slip and slid past 39 years old, (I got land to sell ya, if you believe that) and look at those around me, I’ve noticed an amazing thing. More and more people long of tooth are doing great in the general health and fitness department.

I know, I know….What about all the folks at the mall pushing the obese scale to the limit? Not to sound to uncaring, those I’m afraid are tipping toward thinning the gene pool, so my little theses today is forced to exclude that group.

No, I’m talking about the regular relatively healthy people I come in contact with daily. Disregarding for now all the unfortunate folks with real or imagined serious health issues, I see everyday people I would consider lucky. I have to include myself in that group.

Knowing it’s bad luck to make huge blank statements about things like this, after a hard knock on wood or three, I have to admit some things.

At my young tender age…”^)…I’m in pretty darn good condition. Even though my career involves standing all day, for more years than I care to admit, I have no back, leg or foot problems. Even though my career involves holding my arms at shoulder level and in constant repetitive motion, I have no carpel tunnel issues, no joint pains, no arm, hand or finger aches whatsoever.

Every year for years on end, I have a complete physical and all the readings are perfect except very slightly higher blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. So far, thank the goddesses above and gnomes below; I have no indications of pre-diabetes, lung problems, hearing or any other pre-ism’s at all.

Knowing full well our mental state is also important, I’m proud to admit, I love the constantly emerging high tech world and try and stay up to breast on all things digital as much as possible. In fact that is one of the subjects that brings the little kid out in me.

I have an ongoing worldwide blog, I write a newspaper column and have written and published a book with another one in the womb as we speak and there were many times in the last few years, these three things were happening at the same time.

I’m telling you this to proclaim that at least so far, I am showing no implications of any mental problems like Alzheimer’s disease, or symptoms of any kind of pre-stroke, heaven forbid.

Here’s the deal though. I see people everyday just like me. People with active, seemingly fulfilled lives that are either hiding their infirmaries well or are in basically very good health.

These are people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and a few into the low 90’s who still have full or part time jobs, or at the least live active, energetic lives. They walk with a spring to their step and have a quick and easy smile for those around them.

So all this takes me back to my original question. Are all these others, including myself just lucky, or have we all decided to live life to its fullest come hell or high water? Have we self-determined ourselves into staying healthy or is it just blind luck?

So, sheer dumb luck or self-determination? Which is it?

To be honest, I thought for the longest time it was just luck. That somehow the powers that be decided to hand the luck card to a select group of deserving souls. The more I’ve thought about it though, the more I think like most things, it’s probably a combination of a lot of factors, with luck certainly included.

For my slightly higher blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, the docs have me take a low dose of meds, which brings everything back to perfect. Then the apparently magic baby aspirin a day to ward off the devil.

Having been raised on a farm, it’s always been in my blood to eat as much freshness as possible from the land, so we’ve always had a nice garden. What’s for dinner more often than not depended on what was ripe and ready. For years now, I’ve walked, if not daily, at least when I can. I’ve been told this is one of the best exercises one can do. After all this time, if I don’t walk, I don’t feel as well, so I continue following that yellow brick road as long as it leaves it’s runway lights ablaze.

So I think I’ve learned that as in most things, I have to take some of the credit but mostly I feel nothing but incredible gratitude and thankfulness that this thing called life has and continues to treat me pretty darn well. I have to extend a little friendly tip of the hat to all others I see jauntily walking along enjoying their moments on this crazy blue ball in the ether also.

Thanks, powers that be. Thank you indeed!

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