The art of a healthy, happy life

Life is a Long Time

hammockOne of the wisest things anyone has ever told me is, “life is a long time”. Crazy, I know! I’d always gone by the mantras “life is short”, “seize the day” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But the truth is that for many of us, life truly IS a long time. With a bit of luck and care, we’ll be blessed with 70, 80, 90 – maybe even 110 years!

The moment I let this concept really sink in, a sea of pent up stress and impatience drained from my body. Aaaaaah! I could suddenly see decades spread out before of me, and the challenge was no longer to sprint through life but rather to pace myself and savor each step (or at least most of them!)

Who knows, maybe I won’t get all those decades – life and good health are NEVER guaranteed. (At 17, after loosing my beloved stepfather, I learned this difficult lesson all too well.) Even so, I don’t think I would have any regrets because living with the philosophy of “life is a long time” actually helps me be more present and live more fully – not less.

This philosophy also gave me the courage to shift my career goals and follow a new passion – one that required 4 additional grueling years of study – even at the ‘advanced age‘ of 33. Before my shift in perception, I would have lamented, “I’m too old, by the time I graduate I’ll be almost 40!” Well, that’s not how I think of it today. Instead, I see another good 20, 30, maybe even 40 years ahead of me doing work that helps others and gives my life joy and purpose.

And how’s this for an inspiring example: Anna Mary Robertson Moses, aka Grandma Moses, first started painting at the age 70! Over the next 31 years, she became incredibly loved and famous (her paintings selling for millions of dollars), before passing away at the age of 101.

So how about you? Are you one of the millions of people stressing through life as if it’s a sprint rather than a marathon? If so, maybe it’s time to slow down and prioritize the things that really matter to you most. You can’t tackle everything all at once but perhaps, with a little bit of planning, you can eventually accomplish everything you desire with grace and ease. Because, as you may have heard…life is a long time!

 

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