I have very mixed emotions starting this year off. Like many others, 2009 was not my best year. Personal losses, family members whose great jobs disappeared and the general sluggish Obama-led economy all took their toll on me. In a nutshell, I do not want a repeat of 2009 in 2010.
For months now, I’ve felt a lethargic weight on the back part of my brain and what I need is a panacea or elixir to pull me back upright. I’m not a believer in astrology or fortune-telling and I have enough years in my poke sack to realize that if this year is going to be better for me, it is within my power to make it happen. I’ve stated this many times over the last 30 years and danged if I didn’t succumb to the wiles of misfortune anyway.
I learned the hard way in 2009 that a person cannot prepare for every eventuality successfully. However, each time something tragic happens, I am still optimistic that I will survive and in the long run, come out stronger. That too is up to me.
As a fundamentalist Christian with a partial and practiced Zen Buddhist mind, I still became entangled in a state of depression that kept me mentally chained most of this last year. No one can say with certainty how they will react or recover from something truly tragic until they have emerged on the far side, regardless of what they say beforehand.
Racking up over five hundred hours of overtime at the Plant kept my body busy enough, but mentally I ghosted most of the year away. I wasn’t as strong as I should have been for my bride and family and I’ve determined that 2010 would be different, albeit ten days into January, I am just now getting my plan into motion.
I’ve booked four days at Pedernales Falls State Park, out Johnson City way for late February and plan to camp with my brothers and friends more this year than any previous year, excluding my teen years. I camped for almost 3 months in Georgia with my brothers and life’s responsibilities prevent me that luxury now.
I’m going to call on my old friend and nemesis – exertion, to once again rejuvenate my mind. Exertion has never failed me and as I age I realize that exertion is the one constant in my life that has provided me with true physical mental health. As I told a friend recently, “I am not happy unless I am pushing myself physically to the point of exhaustion”. I guess I could ask my niece Tiffany, what kind of mental problem this is, since she has a Masters degree in psychology, but I probably won’t, as it won’t change anything.
Back in the Stone Age when I was young and strong and thought I could take on all comers, I ran and ran and ran and lifted weights, did karate, push-ups and pull-ups like a fanatic and it kept my demons at bay. In 2010 I will make fifty-eight years of age and these days my testosterone level is obviously not what is was, so I will simply tighten up the strings on my hiking or work boots put on my leather gloves and bang my feet on the trails and climb the ladders at work to get my mental buzz on.
I listened on the radio as the exercise sage and godfather of fitness, Jack LaLanne explained that even at 95 years of age, exercise is number one and nutrition is number two. According to his bio, at the age of 70 handcuffed and shackled, he fought strong winds and currents as he swam 1.5 miles while towing 70 boats with 70 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, so I think it is safe to say he knows what exercise can do for a person, both mentally and physically. He is full of vim and vigor which is defined as a healthy capacity for vigorous activity and forceful exertion.
Forceful exertion breeds a healthy capacity for vigorous activity and that is my simple plan for 2010 to get my mental health back and in the process my body will benefit also. Want to join me?.
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