Friday, August 20, 2010
MY FAVORITE VICES
But the Universe has a strange way of guiding us and bringing us back to our chosen path. Yesterday, my husband, the typical man, who cannot bear to just listen attentively to my boring complaints, but has to come up with solutions to all my problems, suggested that I read CNN's website. He knows I don't like to read bad news but he thought I could find some piece of good news that could perhaps provoke some thoughts I could write.
Today, after hopelessly perusing some books and magazines with no success at finding a little flash of inspiration, as a last resort, I took my hubby's advice. I found that I am not immune to curiosity about the tragedies, crimes and political games that are reported by a news website. I read some and remembered why I try to stay away from the news.
But, I went into their health section and found a little article that actually didn't really offer much information I didn't already know, but it served to shift my thinking to a more positive, even humorous frame. It was like the proverbial slap in the face, the shaking of my body to bring me to my senses. Yet, if I inspect this, it doesn't really make any sense, but who am I to question the Universe's ways of waking me up, of helping me be more accepting, and at reminding me that this life is a playground. So why would I waste time brooding? It's time to play.
"America's healthiest pleasures: 10 'Vices' that are good for you" by Susannah Felts and Jeannie Kim (Health.com) enumerates ten activities of a healthy lifestyle. Here's my personal response to them:
1. Sleep - We all know we need at least 7 hours. I do best with 8 and have been getting about 6 hours. No wonder I've been cranky, asking "what's the point" of anything, and lacking energy to even think about writing. But what impressed me the most about sleep is that without enough, you can increase belly fat!!! I'm going to get at least 9 hours from now on, just to be safe... and slim.
2. Playing hookey - The authors confirm that taking time off as a mental health day is beneficial. Really??? Well, caring for mother and mother-in-law is a 24/7 job for me. No time off. Now you know why sometimes, when you can't understand my posts, you feel a little dizzy and insane. It's not you, it's me.
3. Sexual healing - The adage "less is more" definitely does not apply here. Considering the importance of health, I plan to discuss this with hubby asap. Creatively and playfully, we can contribute to each other's healing. For once he may be happy after hearing "Honey, we have to talk."
4. Daily chocolate - I'm resigning from "chocoholics anonymous". Openly, with no shame I will continue to indulge. Chocolate I Love You, is a post I dedicated to my addiction. You may enjoy reading it.
5. Girl's night out - Well, I have to settle for friend's night in. It does feel wonderful to share with those we like. Fuzzy-warm-touchy-feely social activities must create a good immune system and energize the spirit. Love is expanded and we create a healthier internal chemistry. The did not express this but I like to believe it.
6. Full Fat Foods - Yay!!! I hated the no-fat, and low-fat stuff. Still, when I read about full fat foods, all I could think about is, "You are what you eat."
7. Morning Java - Yum. I'm having some right now. In my culture coffee has always been considered a necessary nutrient. I'm glad the rest of the world now knows.
9. Basking in the sun - "sunshine is the ultimate natural antidepressant," the authors contend. I agree that without brightness around me, I lose mine, but still, I wouldn't bask in the sun considering all the warnings about skin cancer. I'm lucky enough to live in a place where no basking is needed - rain is the treat, and the sun is taken for granted.
10. Wine and dinner - The rumor is confirmed - wine has heart-healthy properties. Apparently, it's okay to consume 5 ounces a day. I don't like it as much as I like chocolate, so daily is too often for me. But the other day I made some eggplant Parmesan, penne pasta and garlic bread and what could have been better than a nice glass of Chianti. (In another life I must have been Italian.)
In all honesty, none of the above can truly be considered vices. If so, you would need to immediately call the vice squad to contain me. What I realized was that all those little things, most of them free for the taking, are what fill my life. That little mundane article transformed my negative thinking into one of gratitude. It also reaffirms for me the need to stay alert and find the hidden messages that the Universe mysteriously plants in the most unlikely places.