29 October 2010

You Are What You Think You Are

Today it's raining and darned wet so I'm thinking I'll do the "waxing philosophical" thing. Yes, we have no photos today!

Many years ago I read that “you are what you think you are”. For some reason that idea really resonated with me and became a very integral part of my life philosophy. What got me to thinking about this were two separate incidences that happened just his week.

The first was when my neighbor came over to give me a hand with a downed tree that was too big for me to handle alone, the base was over two feet in diameter. When you cut a tree on the ground you generally have to cut through a distance and then roll the log so that you can finish the cut without getting your chain in the dirt. If you do hit the ground you have an instant dull chain and that’s no fun. Anyway, there is no way that I can roll a log of that size by myself.

Since there isn’t much market for logs these days and all the local mills have shut down I use my timber to warm myself. Every year I split five to ten cords of wood by hand with an eight-pound maul. My neighbor uses a wood splitter has been for the past ten years. We are both in our sixties.

After we had bucked up the log he spent the next half hour telling me how I need to get a splitter because I was going to cause no end of trouble for my body if I kept on doing it by hand. He went on and on ad nauseum. I tried to explain that if one uses the maul properly there is very little wear and tear on the body. All you have to do is let go and let the tool do the work. I also pointed out that I was pretty well in tune with my body and believe it will let me know when the time comes that chopping wood is no longer wise for me.  And, most importantly, I LOVE to chop wood. I find it almost a meditation being outdoors in my beautiful forest caring for nature and myself. When I come in from chopping wood I am tired and at the same time exhilarated. I fully expect to be chopping wood for many years to come.  See "What Chopping Wood Has Taught Me About Life"

The next incident took place in Costco. I was standing in the checkout line when a gal came up and pitched me to join some executive club because I would get more cash back each year and my annual spending justified paying the sixty dollar fee. I was somewhat amazed I spent so much for just Koty and myself. But, the truth is I still eat like a truck driver (no offense to truck drivers that’s just an expression I used to here when I was a kid). Koty eats like a bird. Hmmm, I wonder if splitting all that wood has anything to do with my being able to eat what I want without getting fat? And, don’t go thinking I have some special metabolism. Each winter I put on five to seven pounds without batting an eye and each spring I have to curtail my epic appetite and take it back off.

I kind of hemmed and hawed so the gal says, “Oh, but you can use it to buy hearing aids.” I’m thinking hearing aids? I tell her I don’t need hearing aids. Without missing a beat she says, “Oh, well, you can really earn a lot of dollars on your prescription drugs!” I tell her I don’t use any prescription drugs. That stops her for a minute and then she says, “Perhaps you need new tires?”  I thought that at least was a practical idea. She thrust an application form in my hand and told me to think it over. The only thing I was left thinking over was how sad it is people see a little gray hair and a few wrinkles and think you’ve got one foot in the casket and the other on a banana peel!

The point of all this is to tell you that people are forever projecting themselves and their paradigm on you and you’d better pay attention. The neighbor who thought I shouldn’t split wood just didn’t want me, a woman, out there splitting wood when he wasn’t up to it, or up for it, anymore. The Costco clerk just took a look at the gray hair and assumed I must be taking loads of prescription drugs and losing my hearing.

I’m a laissez faire kind of gal.  I believe everyone has the right to live their life as they please as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others to do the same. However, I am always leery of well meaning people who try and convince you to be less instead of more.

I truly believe you are what you think you are. And what I think I am is an extremely vital sixty two year old woman. I believe I am and will continue to be healthy and fit. I have no expectation that I will fall prey to some terrible wasting disease. I fully expect to simply drop dead when the time is right. I have no idea when that time will come so I endeavor to live each day to the fullest.

My advice to you regardless of your age, do not let other people, including advertisers and marketers, define who you are. Spend as little time as possible with people who try and make you less instead of more. Your mind is a powerful thing. Be careful how you use it and what you allow into it. You are what you think you are and always will be. Imagine the best you that you can be and be that.

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."  Henry David Thoreau

©Kinsey Barnard


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and thoughtful post, Kinsey. I have heard that about wood chopping - that it is meditative.