Just Go Outside, Please!

Go Outside, Please!-small

💫 Well, summer is almost over. The hot weather has diminished some, and going outside has become more enjoyable. My wife treasures the time spent working in her flower beds, and I enjoy our walks that build up my step count for the day. Our goal is 10,000 per day; sometimes, we achieve that goal, and other days, we fall a little short. Spending time outside is essential; it promotes good health and gives us a better outlook on life. The times in my life when I was depressed were times when mostly I was inside. Working in an office environment for my entire work life undoubtedly contributed to my bouts of depression. They weren’t overwhelming, just bothersome, darting in and out of my life at the most inopportune times. I doubt that science backs up my theory, but I believe it to be true. 

In my youth, my brother (Jerry) and I were outside 90% of the day, only going inside to eat and then back out to do chores or play with the other kids in the coal camp. I doubt I knew what depression was back then. My term for it would have been boredom. Adults know the two are not the same, with depression being rampant in our society. I strongly suspect it’s because too many people spend too much time on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and watching TV. I fully realize that I spend too much time sitting in front of my PC monitor, and I excuse that by saying that it constantly challenges me. I also know it is not a good reason to avoid doing things outside. 

I suspect that if I fail to plan outside projects, my mind will crumble because inside projects require the mind to work continually with little physical effort. Outside, I have to coordinate my mind and body to get the job done. Many of my outside projects are things my wife wants me to do. Living in a retirement community allows me to turn over things I would typically accomplish to the maintenance staff. That frees me up to spend a lot of time doing things I enjoy, such as playing chess, practicing guitar, reading emails, doing tasks on my PC … you get the picture.

 Eventually, I have to draw a line in the sand, allowing myself only so much time each day to spend inside, forcing myself to get up from my desk and head out the door. I know what I must do to live a healthy life; it puzzles me why I have to force myself to do it. I don’t dislike working out at the gym, taking yoga classes, or walking our two-mile trails. There must be a hidden dislike that I’m not aware of that forces me to ignore the necessary things I need to do to enjoy my life as I slip deeper and deeper into my 80s. Maybe I should be looking for a shrink instead of a sharpened pencil😊. 

 Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” I gotta remember that. Hopefully, it’ll help motivate me to go outside. 

💫 I ran across an article in our local newspaper a while back. In it, the young lady referred to herself as Mx., not Ms., Miss, Mrs., nor any other title used before a surname. She wanted to be recognized as non-binary (not restricted to two things or parts). I have a family member who wants to be referred to as non-binary. Fortunately, we avoided that controversy by not using a pronoun while in their presence. I have a difficult time allowing our young people to change some of the basic rules of our society. I certainly believe in individual freedoms, but as we know, there are limits. We have boys transforming themselves into girls and vice versa, and it’s often hard to tell the person isn’t the sex they change themselves into. When a young person asks me to refer to them in a non-binary sense, I’m left wondering why? Why shouldn’t I refer to you by the name your parents gave you? If you no longer want to be male or female, what do you want to be? The only form of non-binary life I can think of is a mule, the product of a donkey and a female horse (mare). Do we need to develop a particular classification for a person who wants to be neither sex? Should we let them decide the name of their new category? 

Some organisms reproduce asexually; they don’t require a partner to reproduce. This includes plants and invertebrates (worms, snakes, etc.), but that doesn’t apply to humans, and I don’t think science has reproduced the male sperm yet. I believe that until two sexes are no longer needed, newborns will be assigned a sex at birth and will have to live with that classification unless they have transitioned after achieving adulthood. As far as being unclassified sexually, I cannot see how that would be beneficial. I remember reading an article in the 1980s that said the latest studies revealed that a male between the ages of 18 -49 thought about sex in some way every 15 minutes he was awake. I also remember agreeing with that observation, although doubting it was actually true 😊. 

I suspect that my attitude towards this subject has a lot to do with my age. My perspective may be different if I were younger, but I have tried, in my twilight years, to do as Toby Keith said in one of his songs about getting old: “Not to let the old man in.” Alas, I have failed. 

💫 My wife and I went 3½ years without getting the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19), but recently she got it, and within a few days I had it. Up to that point, we had our guard up, like a good boxer in the ring always does, taking our shots as we should, wearing our mask when necessary, and washing our hands a lot. But as time passed, we became lax, dropped our guard, and as we all know, boxers get knocked down when that happens. So do we when we drop our guard against Covid. The prognosis is the virus runs its course in ten days and then departs your body for at least three months before attempting a return, unless one of its cousins decides they want to make you feel awful for another ten days. My ten days will be up by the time you read this, and I’m looking forward to returning to my daily routines. 

Sometimes, I considered my daily schedule dull and unimaginative, but now I realize how enjoyable it was. Lends credence to the adage, “You don’t appreciate what you have until you lose it.” That certainly applies to me and my lack of appreciation for my daily activities.

I am looking forward to gallivanting around our campus and tootling up and down the halls of our community center, speaking to the fine residents that occupy this retirement center we now call home. I have missed hanging out with the many friends we have made here and the entertainment and comfort they provide. The universe has a way of making us see the error of our ways and forcing us to recognize the blessing we have. “Happiness consists not in having much, but in being content with little.” ~ Marguerite Gardiner. I have to say I agree with her 😊.