Ever notice how some pretty people are snobs. Because they are attractive and people want their attention they feel no need to be nice to people less pretty than they are. They almost feel like they are better because they are prettier.
Cities can be that way too. Where I live it is a desirable place to live and retire to. It has been for generations. So housing prices here are very high because it is a desirable place to live. Wages are historically low but the cost of living is high.
I guess my point is, it takes more than a pretty face or a pleasant climate to make a good person or town. Like sci-fi movies with a lot of special effects but a weak story line, success depends on turnover or a fresh batch of admirers.
So pretty people, your looks may get you attention, but if you have the personality of a fish, you will never have a good long term relationship to build your life on.
Do you want to live a long time? What do you have to do or not do for that to happen? You think you know the answer to this, but do you?
Scientists who study people have compiled a list of things that tend to help us live long and even happy lives. What is interesting is what doesn’t matter. As long as you don’t live downwind from a nuclear accident site, where you live means little to how long you live and how well you live. Abiding by most popular diet fads also counts for little. Being a naturally happy and gregarious person is not required. And your genes do not matter near as much as your lifestyle.
So what does the science say? Here is their list, beginning with the least important and moving to the most important things.
- Clean air. Nice to have, but not very important.
- Hypertension under control.
- Losing weight.
- Rehabing after a cardiac event, including diet and exercise.
- Flu vaccine. Really?
- Quit drinking.
The final three though are far and away the most important things, outweighing all the others combined. Here we go.
8. Quit smoking. Far more important than quitting drinking.
9. Close relationships. People who know you and will help you in the most intimate and personal ways.
10. Social integration. How well and how often you interact with the people around you who are not close friends or family. Do you chat and make eye contact with strangers? Do you greet people personally and warmly? Are you involved with people in the social arena?
In a society where lonliness is empdemic and people are left to live in isolation, social and personal interaction is a prescription for good health and long life. You need to talk to someone besides your doctor. And video chat is not a substitute.
It is not good for the man to be alone is how the Lord saw it in the very beginning. He was right. Science has confirmed His wisdom.
Dreams are funny things. Sometimes they are confusing and sometimes they startle us and seem prophetic or an omen.
Recently I have had two startling dreams. Both of them so hit me that when I woke up I went online to see if what I dreamed about was even real. the first was about money. I dreamt I had over a million dollars, and what I was going to do to help people with that money. But when I woke up with a figure in my mind I calculated it to be one hundred trillion dollars. That blew my mind.
The second dream, which I had last night, involved me and other unknown people on a trip. We were all tired and I kept pressing on through the sleepiness until I woke up in my dream in a place with people I didn’t know. I asked SIRI where I was and she told me, Medina, Ohio. I wondered, is this where the dream of great wealth is going to come true? When I woke up and looked up Medina, wondering if it was even a real place. It is.
So what does it all mean? I don’t know.
I hate change. Part of me is tired of the way things are and part of me wants things to always stay the same. My job is teetering on the verge of collapsing, but I am afraid of committing to a new job. I have worked at my company for 9 years, it was the company that hired me during the economic collapse. I have done every job they asked me to do. But inside I feel like it’s time to move on.
Why do we fear change? There are no guarantees in life that what looks good will turn out good. My friend started dating a nice lady and it got nipped in the bud. The grass is no greener over on the other side of the fence, but the grass tastes like it is turning brown on my side.
So whether I want to or not I need to make a change while I am still employed rather than wait until I am thrown out on the sidewalk. I wanted to keep doing what I do for at least two or three more years. So I guess it will be that time with new people and a new company. Otherwise my only option is to sell out, cash out, and move away. Like Mac Davis used to sing, adapted to my town, I thought happiness would be Prescott in my rear view mirror.
Pray for me. I need Diving guidance right now.
Yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough. Eating out has been a major hurdle for me since Kathy died. I can do it in some situations but not in others. So last night when I decided to get dinner in town to save time running back and forth I felt that familiar old fear begin to gnaw at my insides. But the fear was not as powerful as it had been and so I went in determined to enjoy myself.
First, I was not going to let them seat me in a corner, and they didn’t. They put me where they would have if I had been with a small group. Second, I deliberately did not drink any alcohol. Not only because I don’t drink, but I didn’t want to dull my emotions. So I had a soda. And finally, I was not going to rush. I ate my food normally, watched the other diners in the room, watched the servers darting in and out of view, and enjoyed my meal.
It was not until I had left the restaurant that the magnitude of my accomplishment hit me. I feel that I crossed the barrier and now could easily go out to eat alone with no fear at all. I am grateful that the effects of grief do not last forever.
I have been so bored living here. So much of what I see and drive through every day is the same. The routine was getting overwhelming. I thought seriously about selling everything I own and moving somewhere I’ve never been. It is still tempting.
Tonight after work I had time to kill before a big meeting for us drivers so I went for a little drive out of town a different way than I take to get home. It takes you out into the pine forest and into the mountains. I spooked a small bunch of deer on the way, which was amazing. I saw where the vegetation had been growing back in an area that had been burned by fire years ago. The sun was still up but in the mountains it gets dark early. I stopped and got out of my vehicle to look and listen and smell. I heard the wind whistling through the pines. It was beautiful.
And for the first time in years I felt a stirring to stay and to enjoy this magnificent scenery only minutes from downtown. Hiking, camping, whatever. I was elated at the thought.It has been a long time since I was elated over anything.
So this winter I will plan and get whatever gear I need and starting next spring, if not next Saturday, I will get out in the woods and enjoy life right here.
What would you do with one million dollars? What would you do with one hundred trillion dollars? In other words, what would you do if money was no object?
I had a dream like that recently. I came into one hundred trillion US dollars legally. I wondered what to do. First, I set up a company to buy and renovate and sell residential real estate. I hired contractors and salespeople and lawyers and accountants and bankers and set up an LLC corporation.
Next we began buying up blighted houses and tearing them down to build apartment buildings for low income families. Later we got into investing in start-ups and small companies and professional practices like dentists. At some point I hired a general manager and became a silent partner, although I did finally have to quit my job to focus on this empire.
The final thoughts in my dream had to do with location. Could I continue what we started here, or did we need to go to a bigger city. We deliberately did not take any government money so we could be free to do what we wanted. And we did not try to help everyone, understanding that you can’t help everyone.
And then I woke up. My dream was not as clear as it is as I write it down, but it came into focus as I thought about what I could do with one hundred trillion dollars.
I just got home from taking my friends to Phoenix to catch a plane. Lately when I go there I come home depressed. Phoenix is a large thriving city of around 5 million. Where I live is about 43 thousand. Nice if you like quiet and empty spaces.
I wonder if this is part of the change that grief has done to me. I find country life boring. I like the sights and sounds and smells of the country. But living here is stifling sometimes. The city feels alive, even when your little neighborhood is quiet, the city is constantly moving. Phoenix is not like Chicago or Manhattan or San Francisco. It is sprawling and rarely very tall.
I’m not sure that the Phoenix metro area is for me. But it would be nice for me to feel the hum and buzz of the city for a while. In the mean time, a good nights sleep and I will feel better in the morning.
What a beautiful summer morning this morning. Not too hot, nice breeze blowing. Had some breakfast and some coffee and now it’s blogging time. I have another blog that I write on besides this one.
My friend Alan just lost his mother last week. She was old and sick so I am glad for her that it’s over. Alan still has to deal with the aftermath, and it is sad for us when we lose someone we love. Loraine was a sweetheart to me. I will miss her.
I am glad that after along week at work I can relax a little, even thought there are chores to be done. The world won’t come to an end if my floors aren’t clean and my dishes aren’t washed and the lawn isn’t mowed. The sun is shining, the clouds are fluffy and white, and it’s great to be alive.
What do you do when you have more work than time? Do you run yourself ragged, or do you give up in despair, or do you stop and say, enough; The rest can wait? There is a time when we need to work harder to get things done. But for me, today is not that day. My friends asked me to drive them to the airport in Phoenix later this afternoon so that is my big job for the day. Everything else can wait.
Do you remember the days before the internet, and before smart phones, and before personal computers? I do. What does technology do for us that makes our lives better? I have tech gadgets that I don’t use because I don’t need them. I only have a smart phone because texting is easier, and sometimes texting is a better way to communicate. I am writing on my pc, online, but I could live without it. I have books and photographs from the past but none from recent times because we don’t read books or take photographs anymore.
I hope you are well and that your life is all you hoped it would be. If it isn’t, ask God to help. He can make a difference in your life.
It’s a nice warm Friday night here in Arizona. I finished some supper, took care of some personal things, and here I am. The cicadas were buzzing but now that the sun is set they are quiet. Nothing now but the fan behind me blowing some nice cooling breezes over me.
It’s pay-day today. I am always grateful for that. And soon my early retirement money will come pouring in as I continue to work full-time. Why quit when it’s something I enjoy doing? The extra income will give me some options I don’t currently have, like travel and home improvements. It will be a blessing for sure.
It’s great being alone in this time of my life. No one to worry about or look out for but me. No one to please but me and Jesus. Enjoying a peaceful and restful night in my modest home.
I hope y’all have a nice weekend whatever you do. Or don’t do. Sometimes doing nothing is the best.
One final thought. I have been listening to The Seekers lately. If you don’t know who they are look them up on You Tube. I love their folksy music.